Fungi associated with the biodegradation of keratinous animal wastes namely:Chicken feathers, cow horns, cow hoofs, goat horns and goat hoofs, were investigated using standard microbiological methods. The species of fungi isolated were Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum,, P. italicum, P. oxysporum, Alternaria tenuissima, Alternaria alternate, Articulospora inflate,Pleurothecium recurvatum, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium oxysporum, Chlamydomyces palmorum,, Cladosporium sphaeropermum, Gonatobotrium apiculatum, Rhizopus stolonifer, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trichoderma viride and Varicosporium eloedae. Keratinase screening revealed that Aspergillusf lavus, Alternaria tenuissima, and Fusarium culmorum were the most active keratin utilizing fungi with mean keratinolytic activity values of 56 U/ml, 52 U/ml and 43 U/ml respectively. Optimum temperature for keratinase production by Aspergillus flavus and Alternaria tenuissima was recorded at 40ºC, while the optimum pH recorded was 8.0 and 8.5 respectively. Large scale production of Keratinase by these fungi will help reduce environmental pollution caused by these animal wastes.
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