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Focused Research Areas : Biochemical Engineering

Exploration of microbial diversity for useful enzymes and bioactive molecules

Microbial diversity is a valuable resource of industrially useful enzymes and bioactive molecule. Microbial enzymes are economically important due to their applications in industries such as textile, paper and pulp, biofuel and food . Enzyme based process supplants hazardous chemicals and therefore are eco-friendly.

1. Xylanase(EC3.2.1.8): We have explored microbial diversity for isolation of xylanase producing bacteria, their production and application. Two different potent strains producing xylanase have been isolated and identified as Bacillus altitudinis and a novel sp. belonging to Bacillus subtilis group. Xylanase treatment to Kraft pulp has shown 15 % decrease in the requirement of chemical bleaching compounds.

2. Laccase (EC A novel high redox potential laccase has been isolated from a fungal strain identified as Arthrographis sp. The laccase can degrade a variety of textile dyes including indigo. Process for production of laccase using surface culture reactor has been developed. The laccase has been tested for its ability to bleach denim fabric in industrial set-up.

3. Isolation of Quorum sensing Inhibitor (QSI) Using Chromobacterium violaceum based screen, a Streptomyces strain producing QSI activity has been isolated. Isolation, purification and characterization of the molecule is in progress.

Cephalosporin Modification for production of active intermediates 7-ACA

Semisynthetic Cephalosporins are important in clinical practice due to their antimicrobial spectrum and non allergenic.Cephalosporin C (CEPH-C) is produced by Cephalosporium acremonium. The native cephalsporin is required to be converted into 7-Aminocephalosporanic acid (7-ACA) for making its semisynthetic derivatives. A method for conversion of cephalosporin C to Glutaryl-7-ACA using D-Amino acid oxidase and conversion of GL-7-ACA to 7-ACA by Glutaryl-7-ACA acylase was done. A Bacillus strain producing GL-7-ACA acylase was screened. The enzyme has been isolated, purified and characterized.


Screening for pectinase


Streptomyces sp producing QSI


Dose dependent QSI inhibition by a compound isolated from Streptomyces sp. 671


Xylanase activity assay Novel Arthrographis strain


Colony morphology on YPD agar


Microscopic structure


Denim bleaching by laccase produced by Arthrographis sp

Team Members

    • Scientists :Names, designation None Technical/ Supporting staff - None
    • Name: Vijay Chintaman Sonawane
    • Contact Details: PP205, second Floor, BERPDC
    • Phone No.: 334
    • Email: vijay@imtech.res.in
  • Project Staff 
    • Shrishti Verma Project assistant
    • Vyas Kumar Project assistant
  • Ph.D. Students 
    • Chandrabhan Dhruw
    • Khadim Husain

Chief Scientist


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Phone (+91-172-) :

Senior Principal Scientist


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Principal Scientist


Phone (+91-172-)

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Phone (+91-172-) :



Phone (+91-172-)

Phone (+91-172-) :
Phone (+91-172-) :