Characterization and flocculation properties of biopolymeric flocculant (glycosaminoglycan) produced by Cellulomonas sp. Okoh

Authors

  • U.U. Nwodo,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
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  • A.I. Okoh

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
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Correspondence

U.U. Nwodo, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa. E-mail: UNwodo@ufh.ac.za

Abstract

Aims

Bioflocculant production potential of an actinobacteria isolated from a freshwater environment was evaluated and the bioflocculant characterized.

Methods and Results

16S rDNA nucleotide sequence and BLAST analysis was used to identify the actinobacteria and fermentation conditions, and nutritional requirements were evaluated for optimal bioflocculant production. Chemical analyses, FTIR, 1H NMR spectrometry and SEM imaging of the purified bioflocculant were carried out. The 16S rDNA nucleotide sequences showed 93% similarities to three Cellulomonas species (strain 794, Cellulomonas flavigena DSM 20109 and Cellulomonas flavigena NCIMB 8073), and the sequences was deposited in GenBank as Cellulomonas sp. Okoh (accession number HQ537132). Bioflocculant was optimally produced at an initial pH 7, incubation temperature 30°C, agitation speed of 160 rpm and an inoculum size of 2% (vol/vol) of cell density 1·5 × 10cfu ml−1. Glucose (88·09% flocculating activity; yield: 4·04 ± 0·33 g l−1), (NH4)2NO3 (82·74% flocculating activity; yield: 4·47 ± 0·55 g l−1) and MgCl2 (90·40% flocculating activity; yield: 4·41 g l−1) were the preferred nutritional source. Bioflocculant chemical analyses showed carbohydrate, protein and uronic acids in the proportion of 28·9, 19·3 and 18·7% in CPB and 31·4, 18·7 and 32·1% in PPB, respectively. FTIR and 1H NMR indicated the presence of carboxyl, hydroxyl and amino groups amongst others typical of glycosaminoglycan. SEM imaging revealed horizontal pleats of membranous sheets closely packed.

Conclusion

Cellulomonas sp. produces bioflocculant predominantly composed of glycosaminoglycan polysaccharides with high flocculation activity.

Significance and Impact of the Study

High flocculation activity suggests suitability for industrial applications; hence, it may serve to replace the hazardous flocculant used in water treatment.

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