Isolates from gardening waste compost and 38 culture collection microbes were grown on agar plates at pH 4.0 with the cutinase model substrate polycaprolactone as a carbon source. The strains showing polycaprolactone hydrolysis were cultivated in liquid at acidic pH and the cultivations were monitored by assaying the p-nitrophenyl butyrate esterase activities. Culture supernatants of four strains were analyzed for the hydrolysis of tritiated apple cutin at different pHs. Highest amounts of radioactive hydrolysis products were detected at pHs below 5. The hydrolysis of apple cutin by the culture supernatants at acidic pH was further confirmed by GC–MS analysis of the hydrolysis products. On the basis of screening, the acidic cutinase from Aspergillus niger CBS 513.88 was chosen for heterogeneous production in Pichia pastoris and for analysis of the effects of pH on activity and stability. The recombinant enzyme showed activity over a broad range of pHs with maximal activity between pH 5.0 and 6.5. Activity could be detected still at pH 3.5.
- plant pathogen