Halophilic microorganisms are able to grow in the presence of salt and are also excellent source of enzymes and biotechnological products, such as exopolysaccharides (EPSs) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Salt-tolerant bacteria were screened in the rganic Composting Production Unit (OCPU) of São Paulo Zoological Park Foundation, which processes 4 ton/day of organic residues including plant matter from the Atlantic Rain Forest, animal manure and carcasses and mud from water treatment. Among the screened microorganisms, eight halotolerant bacteria grew at NaCl concentrations up to 4M. These cultures were classified based on phylogenetic characteristics and comparative partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as belonging to the genera Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Brevibacterium. The results of this study describe the ability of these halotolerant bacteria to produce some classes of hydrolases, namely, lipases, proteases, amylases and cellulases, and biopolymers. The strain characterized as of Brevibacterium avium presented cellulase and amylase activities up to 4MNaCl and also produced EPSs and PHAs. These results indicate the biotechnological potential of certain microorganisms recovered from the composting process, including halotolerant species, which have the ability to produce enzymes and biopolymers, offering new perspectives for environmental and industrial applications.
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