Development in food industry increases consumption of chicken by people and it is estimated that tons of poultry feathers are produced by poultry farms. Hairs are other forms of keratinous waste which is generated in huge amounts by leather industries and parlours worldwide. Chicken feathers and hairs are waste contains high-quality protein, hard to degraded. Eleven nondermatophytic keratinophilic fungi were isolated from soil by hair baiting method and were used to deteriorate hairs and feathers. Pictographic authentication showed that the microbial incidence started with surface colonization of keratinous substrate, mechanical interference of substrate by penetrating hyphae and development of broad perforating organs. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of degraded and undegraded hair and the feather was made. In the sulphoxide region at 1073, the band corresponding to S-O was observed with low intensity and poorly visible in control feathers, while in degraded feather intensity of the band was high in case of Chrysosporium indicum and Chrysosporium tropicum. In Hairs, S-O band was more intense in C indicum as compared to C. tropicum while it was absent in undegraded human hair. The present work observed keratin degradation activity on human hair and chicken feather by FTIR spectra which are useful in the study of structure and mechanism of keratinolysis. Keratinous waste degradation has great potential to convert them into various byproducts such as enzymes, amino acids, biofertilizer and animal feed.
FTIR analysis, Hair degradation, Feather degradation, Keratin degradation, Keratinophilic fungi
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