Biotechnol Rep (Amst). 2023 Jul 28;39:e00809. doi: 10.1016/j.btre.2023.e00809. eCollection 2023 Sep.
High throughput screening approaches can significantly speed up the identification of novel enzymes from natural microbial consortiums. A two-step high throughput screening process was proposed and explored to screen lignin-degrading microorganisms. By employing this modified culture enrichment method and screening based on enzyme activity, a total of 82 bacterial and 46 fungal strains were isolated from fifty decayed wood samples (100 liquid cultures) collected from the banks of the Ottawa River in Canada. Among them, ten bacterial and five fungal strains were selected and identified based on their high laccase activities by 16S rDNA and ITS gene sequencing, respectively. The study identified bacterial strains from various genera including Serratia, Enterobacter, Raoultella, and Bacillus, along with fungal counterparts including Mucor, Trametes, Conifera and Aspergillus. Moreover, Aspergillus sydowii (AORF21), Mucor sp. (AORF43), Trametes versicolor (AORF3) and Enterobacter sp. (AORB55) exhibited xylanase and β- glucanase activities in addition to laccase production. The proposed approach allowed for the quick identification of promising consortia and enhanced the chance of isolating desired strains based on desired enzyme activities. This method is not limited to lignocellulose and lignin-degrading microorganisms but can be applied to identify novel microbial strains and enzymes from different natural samples.