Isolation and identification of a cellulolytic bacterium from the Tibetan pig's intestine and investigation of its cellulase production
Background The Tibetan pig is a pig breed with excellent grazing characteristics indigenous to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in China. Under conditions of barn feeding, 90% of its diet consists of forage grass, which helps meet its nutritional needs. The present study aimed to isolate and identify a cellulolytic bacterium from the Tibetan pig's intestine and investigate cellulase production by this bacterium. The study purpose is to provide a basic theory for the research and development of herbivore characteristics and to identify a source of probiotics from the Tibetan pig. Results A cellulolytic bacterium was isolated from a Tibetan pig's intestine and identified based on morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics as well as 16S rRNA analysis; it was designated Bacillus subtilis BY-2. Examination of its growth characteristics showed that its growth curve entered the logarithmic phase after 8-12 h and the stable growth phase being between 20 and 40 h. The best carbon source for fermentation was 1% corn flour, while 2% peptone and yeast powder compound were the best nitrogen sources. The initial pH during fermentation was 5.5, with 4% inoculum, resulting in a high and stable amount of enzyme in 24-48 h. Conclusions The isolated BY-2 strain rapidly grew and produced cellulase. We believe that BY-2 cellulase can help overcome the shortage of endogenous animal cellulase, improve the utilization rate of roughage, and provide strain sources for research on porcine probiotics.