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Keratin degradation by fungi using keratin azure

Published: May 16th, 2003

Revised: July 21st, 2014


Azure dye-impregnated sheep’s wool keratin (keratin azure) was incorporated in a high pH medium and overlaid on a keratin-free basal medium. The release and diffusion of the azure dye into the lower layer indicated production of keratinase. Fifty-eight fungal taxa, including 49 members of the Arthrodermataceae, Gymnoascaceae and Onygenaceae (Order Onygenales), were assessed for keratin degradation using this method. The results were comparable to measures of keratin utilization reported in studies using tests based on the perforation or erosion of human hair in vitro.

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