Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Tiehang Wu


The aim of this study was to isolate native bacterial strains from the wastewater treatment facilities of Statesboro, GA to identify their lipolytic activities. Obtained bacterial strains were further assessed via morphological and biochemical methods to determine their enzymatic capabilities. Use of the detergent Tween-20 in growth mediums was the first criteria to assess lipase activity, and these isolates were further investigated to quantitatively measure lipase presence and activity. Lipase protein was precipitated and dialyzed to perform a lipase activity assay, followed by Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate–Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to confirm the presence of the lipolytic enzymes. Sanger sequencing was then employed to determine the identity of the isolated bacterial strains.

Results indicated lipolytic activity of industrial agents is lower than the lipase specific activity of the isolated bacteria. After two days of incubation, isolates and industrial agents did not have a significant difference in specific activities, but after allowing eight days of incubation, isolates showed significantly higher specific activity than industrial agents. Isolates with the highest levels of enzymatic activity were identified as Bacillus velezensis and Bacillus subtilits. This analysis showed that the bacteria specific to a wastewater plant can be successfully employed to degrade wastewater lipids without chemical additives.