The main purpose of this study was to isolate and briefly characterize proteolytic bacteria from a poorly known habitat - raw wool. Fleece samples were accordingly collected from Merino raw wool - a Portuguese ewe breed, at three distinct areas of their body, from animals exhibiting no symptoms or signs of abnormalities; they were then subjected to enumeration and isolation of a total of 158 bacterial strains. Said isolates were screened for protease activity, using the spot technique, on Calcium Caseinate Agar containing 1% (w/v) skim milk. The 36 isolates displaying the highest protease activity underwent a more refined assessment of enzymatic performance - by examining their cell-free supernatant extracts, using casein as substrate. Two Bacillus isolates were eventually chosen owing to their highest proteolytic activities (24.6 and 15.9. U/mL), and identified using molecular biology tools.
- Caseinolytic activity
- Wool microflora