To study the ability of microorganisms to hydrolyze gelatin with the proteolytic
The ability of microorganisms to hydrolyze gelatin is commonly taken as evidence
that the organism can hydrolyze protein in general. But there are exceptions.
Microorganisms vary from species to species with regard to their ability to
hydrolyze protein. This feature characterizes some species.
Gelatin is a protein obtained by the hydrolysis of a collagen compound of
the connective tissues of animals. It is convenient as a substrate for proteolytic
enzymes in microorganisms.
Gelatin is used as the media from the experiment, which is liquid at room
temperature and solidifies at –4°C. If the gelatin has been hydrolyzed by the
action of organism the media will remain liquid.
- Nutrient gelatin media
- Test organism
- Test tubes
- Inoculation loop.
- Preparation of nutrient gelatin media:
- Peptone – 5 g
- Gelatin – 20 g
- Beef extract – 3 g
- Sodium chloride – 5 g
- Distilled water – 1000 mL
- Media is prepared according to the above given composition.
- It is sterilized at 121°C for 15 minutes at 15 lb/square inch and poured
into presterilized tubes.
- Tubes are allowed to cool and then inoculated with test organisms with
1 inoculated tube used as a control.
- Tubes are incubated for 24 hrs and observed for liquefaction of gelatin,
after keeping them in ice for half an hour.
Observe your experimental result.
Gelatin is an incomplete protein, lacking many aminoacids, such as tryptophan.
When collagen is heated and hydrolyzed, denatured protein gelatin is obtained.
Collagen accounts for 90% to 95% of organic matter in the cell. It is the most
important protein, rich in amino acids. Microorganisms like bacteria can use
gelatin only if they are supplemented with other proteins. Bacteria produce the
gelatin-hydrolyzing enzyme gelatinase. Since gelatine is a good solidifying agent
at low temperatures, its property of solidification can be used to distinguish
between gelatin-hydrolyzing and nonhydrolyzing agents. Most of the Enterobacteriaceae
are gelatin-hydrolysis-test–negative. Bacteria like Vibrio, Bacillus,