Byline: FARAH SALEEM, MARIA ASIF, MUNAZZA AJAZ AND SHEIKH AJAZ RASOOL
Summary: The applications of thermophilic microorganisms in industrial processes have opened a new era in biotechnology. This group has unique features, which can be exploited for use in biotechnological and socio-economic industries. They have shown tremendous potential because of their ability to produce unique bioactive molecules (enzymes and bacteriocins etc.) that are also thermostable.
The study is aimed to decipher indigenous resources and isolate microbial gems. In this regard a total number of 211 bacteria were isolated from Manghopir hot springs. Among these isolates gram positive bacteria were dominant over gram negative bacteria and both thermophilic and thermotolerant group of bacteria were identified. These bacteria were screened for their potential for bacteriocinogenesis, amylase, b-galactosidase, cellulase and protease using both spectrophotometric and plate assays. Different combinations of enzyme production were observed among different isolates. However, some isolates were found to secrete all of the aforementioned enzymes. Screening of all the bacterial isolates for their bacteriocinogenic potential revealed that most of the isolates had the ability to produce bacteriocin and some of them were found to be very efficient bacteriocin producing strains.
Geothermal hot springs and hydrothermal vents are the aquatic environments where microbial mats develop in a wide variety. There are several types of thermophilic microbial mats e.g., those of cyanobacteria, anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, and chemotrophic sulfur bacteria, which differ according to the physical and chemical conditions they favour and other environmental factors .
Since the time of their discovery, extremophiles have provided an interesting and challenging platform for researchers. The extreme- ophiles majorly include; Halophiles, Thermophiles, Barophiles, Psychrophiles and Acidophiles . Production of various biologically active metabolites i.e. antibiotics, enzymes and bacteriocins by the thermophilic bacteria make them attractive candidates for biological control . These thermot- olerant microorganisms have shown tremendous potential in biotechnology because of their ability to produce unique thermostable proteins with high industrial and economic value [4, 5]. In this connection, several examples could be taken into account for instance; thermostable polymer degrading enzymes like amylases, proteases and cellulases would play an important role in detergent, food, animal feed, textile, paper, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and fine chemical industries .
Enzyme, b-galactosidase has both industrial and clinical significance, its therapeutic role is well documented and has been investigated in number of microorganisms .
Bacteriocins are bacterially produced peptide antibiotics with the ability to kill a limited (and otherwise) range of bacteria but are target specific. These compounds are commonly produced by a wide variety of bacteria . Bacteriocins differ from most therapeutic antibiotics in being proteinaceous and generally possessing a narrow specificity of action against strains of the same or closely related species . They are heterogeneous compounds which vary in molecular weight, biochemical properties, activity spectra and mechanism of action. These polypeptide antibiotics can possess bactericidal, fungicidal, metal-chelating, and immunomodulating activities . Several bacteriocins offer potential applications in food preservation, and the use of bacteriocins in the food industry can help to reduce the addition of...