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Isolation And Characterization Of Endophytic Bacteria Of Coffee Plants And Their Potential In Caffeine Degradation


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F. V. Nunes & I. S. de Melo


The plant kingdom is colonized by a diverse array of endophytic bacteria, which form a non-pathogenic relationship with their hosts. Endophytic bacteria may confer benefits to the plant, and the benefits may be reciprocal, resulting in an enhanced symbiotic system for specific plant characteristics. The objective of this study was to isolate endophytic bacteria from coffee (Coffea arabica and C. robusta) and evaluate their potential in degrading caffeine. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis and by FAME and the analysis of biodegradation of caffeine was carried out by HPLC. As a result, 252 bacterial strains were isolated, with most of them belonging to the species Bacillus lentimorbus, B. megaterium, B. subtilis, B. cereus, Pseudomonas putida, P. chlororaphis, Pantoea ananatis, P. agglomerans, Stenotrophomonas malthophilia, Kluyvera cryocrescens, Kocuria kristinae etc. Approximately 20% of the bacterial strains showed the ability to grow in the presence of high concentrations (5.000 mg.L -1 ) of caffeine and two Pseudomonas putida strains completely degraded the alkaloid, showing the potential of endophytic bacteria in decaffeination processes. Keywords: endophytic microorganisms, caffeine, coffee, biodegradation. 1 Introduction Endophytes are microorganisms that live within the tissues of healthy plants where they cause symptomless infections. Their significance to the host is still


endophytic microorganisms, caffeine, coffee, biodegradation.