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Cold-active Moulds from Jammu and Kashmir, India as Potential Source of Cold-active Enzymes

Sanjay Sahay, Mansoor A Lone, Preeti Jain, Poonam Singh, Deepak Chouhan, Fakhar Shezad


Cold-active moulds have been isolated from the soil of ten selected sites of Jammu and Kashmir (India) in the winter season. Most of them turned out to be psychrotolerant except BPF-5 and BPF-6 which showed defective growth above 20oC, and thus were identified as psychrophilic moulds. BPF-5 was also found to form sexual structure at 4oC, while BPF-6 formed melanaceous filaments in old culture. The isolate BPF-5 has been identified as Truncatella angustata and BPF-6 as Psudogymnoascus sp. Among psychrotolerant moulds, the species of Cladosporium and Penicillium were found to be dominant taxa in terms of frequency and number of species while Rhizomucor sp., to be the most prolific mould under in vitro culture. Many of them formed adaptive structures and pigment.  All of these isolates were able to utilize starch, cellulose, casein and tween-80 while many of them were able to use pectin and carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) as sole carbon source at 4oC suggesting that they might be important sources of cold-adapted enzymes and other biomolecules. Although α-amylase from all the isolates showed residual cold-activity, that from BPF-6 exhibited the highest one suggesting it to be further explored for biotechnological applications.


Cold-adapted moulds; Baramulla-soil; Psychrophilic moulds; Psychrotolerant moulds

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