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Arch Microbiol. 2001 Dec;176(6):421-6. Epub 2001 Sep 21.

Purification and properties of two chitinolytic enzymes of Serratia plymuthica HRO-C48.

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Universität Rostock, Institut für Molekulare Physiologie und Biotechnologie, Mikrobiologie, Gertrudenstrasse 11a, 18051 Rostock, Germany.


The chitinolytic rhizobacterium Serratia plymuthica HRO-C48 was previously selected as a biocontrol agent of phytopathogenic fungi. One endochitinase (E.C., CHIT60, and one N-acetyl-beta-1,4- D-hexosaminidase (E.C., CHIT100, were purified and characterized. The endochitinase CHIT60, with an apparent molecular mass of 60.5 kDa, had a N-terminal amino acid sequence highly similar to that of chitinases A from Serratia liquefaciens and Serratia marcescens. The enzyme activity had its peak at 55 degrees C and pH 5.4, and increased by more than 20% in the presence of 10 mM Ca(2+), Co(2+) or Mn(2+). Activity was inhibited by 80% in the presence of 10 mM Cu(2+). CHIT100 appeared to be a monomeric enzyme with a molecular mass of 95.6 kDa and a pI of 6.8. Optimal activity was obtained at 43 degrees C and pH 6.6, and decreased by more than 90 % in the presence of 10 mM Co(2+) or Cu(2+). CHIT100 (100 microg ml(-1)) inhibited spore germination and germ tube elongation of the phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea by 28 % and 31.6 %, respectively. With CHIT60 (100 microg ml(-1)), the effect was more pronounced: 78 % inhibition of of germination and 63.9 % inhibition of germ tube elongation.

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