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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Oct;20(10):1378-85.

Isolation of a novel freshwater agarolytic Cellvibrio sp. KY-YJ-3 and characterization of its extracellular beta-agarase.

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School of Life Science and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National Univerisity, Daegu 702-701, Korea.


A novel agarolytic bacterium KY-YJ-3, producing extracellular agarase, was isolated from the freshwater sediment of the Sincheon River in Daegu, Korea. On the basis of gram-staining data, morphology, and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence, the isolate was identified as Cellvibrio sp. By ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by Toyopearl QAE-550C, Toyopearl HW-55F, and Mono-Q column chromatography, the extracellular agarase in the culture fluid could be purified 120.2-fold with yield of 8.1%. The specific activity of the purified agarase was 84.2 U/mg. The molecular mass of the purified agarase was 70 kDa as determined by dodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The optimal temperature and pH of the purified agarase were 35 degrees C and pH 7.0, respectively. The purified agarase failed to hydrolyze the other polysaccharide substrates, including carboxymethyl (CM)-cellulose, dextran, soluble starch, pectin, and polygalacturonic acid. Kinetic analysis of the agarose-hydrolysis catalyzed by the purified agarase using thin layer chromatography (TLC) exhibited that the main products were neoagarobiose, neoagarotetraose, and neoagarohexaose. These results demonstrated that the newly isolated freshwater agarolytic bacterium KY-YJ-3 was a Cellvibrio sp., and could produce an extracellular beta-agarase, which hydrolyzed agarose to yield neoagarobiose, neoagarotetraose, and neoagarohexaose as the main products.

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