Fungi are natural degraders of organic matter which can produce enzymes for many industrial and biotechnological applications. In this context, crude enzymatic extracts of fungal isolates were evaluated regarding their hydrolytic and ligninolytic abilities. The fungal strains were isolated from soil samples from Atlantic Rain Forest Park incremented with sugar cane biomass (filter cake), which allowed the selection of efficient lignocellulolytic enzymes. A total of 190 fungi were isolated and evaluated by endocellulase screenings. Thirteen fungi were selected about their hydrolytic and ligninolytic abilities. Among them, three isolates showed xylanolytic activity. Eleven of the isolates were selected by their cellulolytic abilities. Proteolytic enzymes were also detected for three fungi, allowing the classification as metalloprotease and serine protease. The isolates SPZPF3_47 (Mucor sp.), SPZPF1_129 (Byssochlamys nivea) and SPZPF1_141 (Paecilomyces saturatus) were selected for further investigation on their lignin peroxidase abilities. KM, Vmax and kcat apparent for lignin peroxidases were also determined. The strain of Mucor sp. (SPZPF3_47) was highlighted since this fungal genus was not well described about its isolation in the adopted conditions in our study, and showing ligninolytic abilities.
The bioprospection for cellulase and protease producers is a promise strategy for the discovery of potential biocatalysts for use in hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials as well as proteic residues. These enzymes can increment and turn viable the production of second generation ethanol from different and alternative sources. In this context, the goal of this study was the investigation of cellulolytic and proteolytic abilities of bacteria isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of a hippopotamus as well as from its composting process. It is important to highlight that hippopotamus gastrointestinal samples were a non-typical sources of efficient hydrolytic bacteria with potential for application in biotechnological industries, like biofuel production. Looking for this, a total of 159 bacteria were isolated, which were submitted to qualitative and quantitative enzymatic assays. Proteolytic analyzes were conducted through the evaluation of fluorescent probes. Qualitative assays for cellulolytic abilities revealed 70 positive hits. After quantitative analyzes, 44 % of these positive hits were selected, but five (5) strains showed cellulolytic activity up to 11,8 FPU/ mL. Regarding to proteolytic activities, six (6) strains showed activity above 10 %, which overpassed results described in the literature. Molecular analyzes based on the identification of 16S rDNA, revealed that all the selected bacterial isolates were affiliated to Bacillus genus. In summary, these results strongly indicate that the isolated bacteria from a hippopotamus can be a potential source of interesting biocatalysts with cellulolytic and proteolytic activities, with relevance for industrial applications.