Laccase enzyme has acquired the status of 'green catalyst' and it possesses remarkable bioremediation potential. It has numerous applications in effluent detoxification, degradation of textile dyes, herbicide and insecticide degradation, wine clarification, enzymatic conversion of chemical intermediates, biosensors and organic synthesis, where enzymatic catalysis could serve as a more environmentally benign alternative than the currently used chemical processes. In the present study 74 total bacterial isolates were isolated from 18 samples collected from three paper mills of Himachal Pradesh using M162 containing 5 mM guaiacol and 40 mg/l CuSO 4 . Secondary screening for laccase activity on the basis of their ability to oxidise tannic acid and laccase specific substrate dimethoxyphenol led to selection of sixteen bacterial isolates. On the basis of morphological and biochemical characterization and laccase activity, five bacterial isolates exhibiting maximum laccase activity were selected and molecular characterization was carried out using 16S rRNA gene technology. In silico analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences identified these bacterial isolates as Pseudomonas lurida strain LR5.1, Pseudomonas lurida strain LB6.2, Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain LH3.4, Bacillus subtilis strain LB6.1 and Bacillus subtilis strain LR6.3.
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