1 Phoneutria Biotecnologia e Serviços Ltda., Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2 Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
3 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas: Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Detection of microbial enzymes in natural environments is important to understand biochemical activities and to verify the biotechnological potential of the microorganisms. In the present report, 346 isolates from soil, water, and plants were screened for enzyme production (caseinase, gelatinase, amylase, carboxymethyl cellulase, and esterase). Our results showed that 89.6% of isolates produced at least one tested enzyme. A predominance of amylase in soil samples, carboxymethyl cellulase in plants, as well as esterase and gelatinase in water was observed. Interesting enzymatic profiles were found in some microenvironments, suggesting specificity of available nutrients and/or natural selection. This study revealed the potential of microorganisms present in water, soil, and plant to produce important enzymes for biotechnological exploration. A predominance of certain enzymes was found, depending on the type of environmental sample. The distribution of microbial enzymes in soil, water and plants has been little exploited in previous reports.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, CEP 30.270-901, Brazil; Tel/Fax: +55 31 3409-2713;