Chitin Degradation In Marine Bacteria

Sara Paulsen, Henrique Machado, Lone Gram

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Introduction: Chitin is the most abundant polymer in the marine environment and the second most abundant in nature. Chitin does not accumulate on the ocean floor, because of microbial breakdown. Chitin degrading bacteria could have potential in the utilization of chitin as a renewable carbon and nitrogen source in the fermentation industry.Methods: Here, whole genome sequenced marine bacteria were screened for chitin degradation using phenotypic and in silico analyses.Results: The in silico analyses revealed the presence of three to nine chitinases in each strain, however the number of chitinases did not correlate to chitin degrading abilities on chitin agar. Two glycosyl hydrolase (GH) groups of chitinases were identified: GH18 and GH19. Interestingly, all strains had genes coding for GH19 chitinases, which for a long time were believed to be present only in higher plants. Differences in genes related to chitin degradation were found between Vibrionaceae and Pseudoalteromonaceae families. The sensor kinase, ChiS, which regulates around 50 genes, was found in all Vibrionaceae but not in any of the strains from the Pseudoaltermonaceae family indicating that the latter has a different chitin regulatory system.Conclusions: This study has provided insight into the ecology of chitin degradation in marine bacteria. It also served as a basis for choosing a more efficient chitin degrading production strain e.g. for the use of chitin waste for large-scale fermentations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015 : Programme & Abstracts
    Place of PublicationCopenhagen
    Publication date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015 - Eigtved's Pakhus, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 9 Nov 20159 Nov 2015


    ConferenceThe Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015
    LocationEigtved's Pakhus


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