FST Lecturer Reveals Potential of Thermophilic Microorganism Diversity in Indonesia

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Indonesia is one of the countries with high tectonic activity and the largest number of volcanoes. Indonesia has also been named as one of the countries that is rich in biodiversity or commonly known as megabiodiversity. These two factors have implications for the high diversity of thermophilic microorganisms that can survive at high temperatures (above 50 ° C).

Thermophilic microorganisms have the potential to produce thermostable enzymes that are able to work actively at high temperatures, especially in the industrial field. It inspired Almando Geraldi, S.Si., Ph.D with the team to conduct research to find out the potential of most specialized thermophilic microorganism diversity in Indonesia.

“Various industrial processes carried out at high temperatures to improve efficiency require a variety of hazardous chemicals such as acids and oxidative compounds which have a negative effect on health and the environment. These processes generally require thermostable enzymes as a safer and environmentally friendly alternative to the industrial processes, “said the lecturer of Faculty of Science and Technology (FST).

He also said that thermophilic microorganisms can be an alternative in the fermentation process of high-value chemicals such as recombinant proteins, biofuels, and biopolymers needed for sterilization process.

“The research that our team did was in Cangar hot spring, and we obtained Bacillus subtilis  subspecies Inaquosorum. This species is reported for the first time isolated in Indonesia. The bacterial isolate which was then called CGR-1 was able to live at 60 ° C. Moreover, this species has various potentials that can be utilized in bioindustry because it is able to produce cellulase, amylase, and beta-glucosidase enzymes at 50 ° C, ” he explained.

In the end, the lecturer known well as Gerry explained that the three enzymes produced by CGR-1 could be used for the production of sugar and bioethanol from agricultural wastes. Moreover, it is also able to produce biosurfactants which are environmentally friendly alternatives compared with synthetic surfactants which are generally used in the food, pharmaceutical, bioremediation and petroleum extraction industries. So in the future it can be applied to related industries.

Author: Dian Putri Apriliani

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Link :

http://www.envirobiotechjournals.com/article_abstract.php?aid=9690&iid=276&jid=3  , http://www.envirobiotechjournals.com/article_abstract.php?aid=9734&iid=277&jid=4 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334120520_Bioprospecting_thermostable_enzymes-producing_thermophiles_from_Indonesia , https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336252112_BIOPROSPECTING_OF_CELLULOLYTIC_AND_BIOSURFACTANT-_PRODUCING_BACTERIA_FOR_ORGANIC_WASTE_TREATMENT

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