2021 Volume 67 Issue 2 Pages 47-53
Most animals cannot digest cellulose but have symbiotic microbes that degrade the matrix polysaccharides of plant matter. Herbivorous and omnivorous marine fish are similarly expected to rely on symbiotic microbes, but reports to date on cellulase-producing bacteria in fish intestines are limited. Here, we report the isolation of new cellulase-producing bacteria from the marine omnivorous teleost, blackfish (Girella melanichthys), and the characterization of cellulase activity. Three strains of cellulase-producing bacteria sp. were isolated from the hindgut of wild G. melanichthys. The strains of cellulase-producing bacteria grew in medium with artificial seawater but not in NaCl alone. Growth was optimum at 20–35°C, but there was no growth at 40°C, suggesting adaptation in a marine environment at a low temperature. Isolates were identified to Microbulbifer sp., among which GL-2 strain produced a high enzyme activity. The GL-2 strain was further used for enzyme characterization with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as the substrate. Maximum activity of the cellulase was observed at 60°C, and activity was more than 30% at 20°C, while commercial cellulase Enthiron showed an optimum activity at 50°C and 17% activity at 20°C. Hydrolytic products by GL-2 cellulase were cellobiose but not glucose, suggesting a deficiency of β-glucosidase activity. Active gel electrophoresis containing CMC showed five bands, suggesting several cellulolytic enzymes. The GL-2 strain and its enzyme are potential probiotics for aquaculture fish and the industrial production of cellobiose.