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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


Microbial Biotechnology  |  Whole Cell Biocatalysis and Bioprocess Engineering

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett.

Received: March 27, 2024; Revised: April 5, 2024

Isolation of a Novel Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1 and Characterization of Its β-Agarase

Sang-Hyeon Lee 1*, Jin Sun Kim 1, Young Min Woo 1, Dong-Geun Lee 1 and Andre Kim 1

Silla University

Correspondence to :
Sang-Hyeon Lee, 140 Baegyang-daero 700 beon-gil, Sasang-gu, Busan, Korea [46958]
Tel : +82-51-999-5624 , Fax : +82-51-999-5628, E-mail :


This study reports the isolation of a bacterium capable of degrading agar and the characterization of its agarase. An agar-degrading marine bacterium JS-1 was isolated using Marine agar 2216 media from seawater collected from the seashore of Angolpo, Changwon, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea. An agar-degrading bacterium was named as Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1 by phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence. The extracellular crude agarase was prepared from the culture media of Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1 and used for characterization. Relative activities at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60°C were 39, 73, 100, 74, and 53%, respectively. Relative activities at pH 5, 6, 7, and 8 were 46%, 67%, 100%, and 49%, respectively. Its extracellular agarase showed maximum activity (164 units/l) at pH 7.0 and 40°C in a 20 mM GTA buffer. The residual activity after heat treatment at 20, 30, and 50°C for 30 minutes was 84, 73, and 26% or more, respectively. After 2 h heat treatment at 20, 30, 40, and 50°C, the residual activity was 80, 64, 52 and 21%, respectively. Thin layer chromatography analysis suggested that Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1 produces extracellular β-agarases that hydrolyze agarose to produce neoagarooligosaccharides, including neoagarohexaose (12.4%), neoagarotetraose (65.1%), and neoagarobiose (22.6%) at 6 h. Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1 and its β-agarase could be valuable for producing neoagarooligosaccharides with a variety of functional properties. These properties include inhibiting bacterial growth, slowing down starch degradation, and whitening, which are of interest for pharmaceuticals, food, cosmeceuticals, and nutraceuticals.

Keywords: β-agarase, marine bacterium, neoagarooligosaccharides, Tenacibaculum sp. JS-1, thin layer chromatography (TLC)

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