Identification and characterization of chitinolytic bacteria isolated from a freshwater lake

<p>To develop a novel type of biocontrol agent, we focus on bacteria that are characterized by both chitinase activity and biofilm development. Chitinolytic bacteria were isolated from sediments and chitin flakes immersed in the water of a sand dune lake, Sakata, in Niigata, Japan. Thirty-one isolates from more than 5100 isolated strains were examined chitinase activity and biofilm formation. Phylogenetic analysis of these isolates based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that most isolates belonged to the family <i>Aeromonadaceae</i>, followed by <i>Paenibacillaceae</i>, <i>Enterobacteriaceae</i>, and <i>Neisseriaceae</i>. The specific activity of chitinase of four selected strains was higher than that of a reference strain. The molecular size of one chitinase produced by <i>Andreprevotia</i> was greater than that of typical bacterial chitinases. The dialyzed culture supernatant containing chitinases of the four strains suppressed hyphal growth of <i>Trichoderma reesei</i>. These results indicate that these four strains are good candidates for biocontrol agents.</p> <p>The dialyzed culture supernatant containing chitinases of the four isolated strains suppressed hyphal growth of <i>Trichoderma reesei</i>.</p>