The Open Microbiology Journal

ISSN: 1874-2858 ― Volume 13, 2019

Enzymatic Activity of Endophytic Bacterial Isolates from Selected Mangrove Plants in Kenya

Regina M. Ntabo1, *, Anthony Kebira Nyamache1, Wilber Lwande2, James Kabii2, James Nonoh1
1 Department of Microbiology, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
2 International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P.O. Box 30772-00100 Nairobi, Kenya



Microorganisms are a preferred source of enzyme production due to their high production capability and low cost of production. Bacterial endophytes occupy unexplored sites hence they represent a new source of enzymes with diverse applications. Mangrove plants in Kenya have traditionally been used as medicinal plants due to their bioactive metabolites. However the enzymatic activity of mangrove plants associated endophytes has not been studied.

Aims & Objectives:

The study is aimed at bioprospecting for enzymes with potential biotechnological applications from mangrove ecosystems.

Methods & Materials:

Forty-two bacterial isolates were cultured and isolated from the leaves and roots of six mangrove plants sampled from Mida Creek and Gazi Bay in the coastal region of Kenya. The isolates were screened for pectinases, chitinases, cellulases, proteases, and amylases. The isolates were identified based on morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis.


The study showed bacterial isolates had enzymatic activity as follows; pectinases activity (69% of the isolates), Proteases (95% of the isolates), amylases activity (88% of the isolates), cellulases and chitinases (92% of the isolates each). Bacterial endophytes from leaves showed a higher enzymatic index of cellulases suggesting a potential role in degrading cellulose in the leaves of plants. The enzymes amylases and proteases were mostly exhibited by endophytes in roots suggesting a potential role in metabolizing sugar and amino acids in the roots. Isolates from the mangrove plant Sonneratia alba showed highest enzymatic indices. The study also observed that isolates from mangrove plants sampled from Gazi bay had high means of enzymatic indices. Molecular identification showed the isolates were closely related to Bacillus, Streptomyces, Myroides, and Staphylococcus species. Their respective enzymatic activities have been provided in this study.


The study showed that Kenyan Mangrove plant-associated bacterial endophytes provide a good reservoir of enzymes with potential industrial applications.

Keywords: Endophytic bacteria, Mangrove plants, Enzymes, Mangrove plan, Sonneratia alba, Enzymatic index.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 354
Last Page: 363
Publisher Id: TOMICROJ-12-354
DOI: 10.2174/1874285801812010354

Article History:

Received Date: 31/7/2018
Revision Received Date: 19/10/2018
Acceptance Date: 20/10/2018
Electronic publication date: 14/11/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Ntabo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Microbiology, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya; Tel: +254 20870; E-mail:


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