Investigation and Isolation of Cellulase-Producing microorganisms in the Red Sea

  • Siham Fatani

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Cellulolytic microorganisms are considered to be key players in biorefinery, especially for the utilization of plant biomass. These organisms have been isolated from various environments. The Red Sea is one of the seas with high biodiversity and a unique environment, characterized by high water temperature and high salinity . However, there is little information regarding cellulases in Red Sea environments. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the Red Sea as a gene resource for microbial cellulase. I first surveyed microbial cellulases in the Red Sea using a method called metagenomes, and then investigated their abundance and diversity. My survey revealed that the Red Sea biome has a substantial abundance and a wide range of cellulase enzymes with substantial abundance, when compared with those in other environments. Next, I tried to isolate cellulase-active microorganisms from the Red Sea and I successfully obtained seven strains of four different taxonomic groups. These strains showed a similarity of 99% identity to Aspergillus ustus, 99% to Staphylococcus pasteuri, 99% to Bacillus aerius and 99% to Bacillus subtilis. The enzyme assay I conducted, revealed that these strains actually secreted active cellulases. These results suggest that the Red Sea environment can be, indeed, an excellent gene resource of microbial cellulases.
Date of AwardMay 2016
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorTakashi Gojobori (Supervisor)


  • Red Sea
  • Metagenome
  • Cellulases
  • Cellulose
  • Screening

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