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Degradation of feathers by bacterial consortium and its application in seed germination

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Shardabai Pawar Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Shardanagar Baramati, Maharashtra, India
  • 2Department of Microbiology, H.V. Desai College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 8, Issue (1), Pages 20-23, January,10 (2019)


Feathers primarily composed of keratin are largely produced as a waste by-product at poultry plants. Keratin is an insoluble protein macromolecule with very high stability and low degradation rate. Use of keratinolytic bacteria have found a promising effect in shortening the degradation time. In present study consortium of three organisms was used for feather degradation and the feather degraded product was used to check effect on seed germination. It was seen that the consortium was able to degrade 92.6% of feathers within 72 hours. The degraded product proved to be rich source of nitrogen. The application of feather degraded product in seed germination of Gram seeds had astounding results. The effect was measured in terms of root-shoot length, number of secondary roots, root shoot ratio, etc. The root: shoot ratio was increased in control group (2.7) compared with test (1.9) indicating nutrient deficiency. Thus, the feather degraded product could be used to increase seed germination rate.


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