PMID: 9501441Mar 21, 1998Paper

Enzyme characteristics of beta-D-galactosidase- and beta-D-glucuronidase-positive bacteria and their interference in rapid methods for detection of waterborne coliforms and Escherichia coli

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
I Tryland, L Fiksdal


Bacteria which were beta-D-galactosidase and beta-D-glucuronidase positive or expressed only one of these enzymes were isolated from environmental water samples. The enzymatic activity of these bacteria was measured in 25-min assays by using the fluorogenic substrates 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-galactoside and 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-glucuronide. The enzyme activity, enzyme induction, and enzyme temperature characteristics of target and nontarget bacteria in assays aimed at detecting coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli were investigated. The potential interference of false-positive bacteria was evaluated. Several of the beta-D-galactosidase-positive nontarget bacteria but none of the beta-D-glucuronidase-positive nontarget bacteria contained unstable enzyme at 44.5 degrees C. The activity of target bacteria was highly inducible. Nontarget bacteria were induced much less or were not induced by the inducers used. The results revealed large variations in the enzyme levels of different beta-D-galactosidase- and beta-D-glucuronidase-positive bacteria. The induced and noninduced beta-D-glucuronidase activities of Bacillus spp. and Aerococcus viridans were approximately the same as the activities of induced E. coli. Except for...Continue Reading


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