Bioprospecting Aspergillus section Nigri in Atlantic Forest soil and plant litter
ABSTRACT: The use of fungi as a source of enzymes has become widespread in various industrial and commercial areas, and Aspergillus section Nigri has significant potential for producing enzymes. The aim of this study was to isolate Aspergillus section Nigri from plant litter and soil from the Atlantic Forest biome and evaluate it with regards to hydrolytic enzyme production. The trials for producing the enzymes were carried out in Petri dishes, using different culture mediums adapted for microbial growth and with the respective substrates for inducing enzyme production - cellulase (carboxymethyl cellulose), protease (skimmed milk), amylase (soluble starch), pectinase (citrus pectin), and phytase (Pikovskaya medium). Forty-two fungi were isolated, 16.7% derived from the plant litter layer and 83.3% derived from soil at a depth of 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 10 cm. All of the isolated lineages presented amylase, protease, and phytase production, with 90.4% producing cellulase and no lineage producing pectinase. From the results, the significant potential for Atlantic Forest fungi as hydrolytic enzyme producers could be perceived. The enzymatic activity evaluations presented a satisfactory result when compared with the scientific literature.