Wool-associated proteolytic bacteria, isolated from Portuguese Merino breed

A. Catarina Queiroga, Manuela E. Pintado, F. Xavier Malcata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Caseinolytic activity
  • Fleece
  • Keratin
  • Sheep
  • Wool microflora


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