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Asian Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 12 - 22

Culture Optimization for Enhanced Production of Microbial Pectin Methylesterase under Submerged Conditions

S. Mandhania, V. Jain and S.P. Malhotra    

Abstract: The present investigations were undertaken with the objective to isolate PME producing microbial strain and to standardize conditions to have cost effective production of the enzyme. Based on the ability of pectinolysis, out of 20 microbial strains isolated, one fungal strain was selected and got identified from Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh (India), as Aspergillus heteromorphus. The strain was added to its collection with identification number MTCC 9262. Various process variables viz., type and pH of the medium, temperature of growth, time of incubation, inoculum concentration and type and concentration of carbon and nitrogen sources were optimized as per the conventional method of one variable at a time approach which involves varying a single independent variable and maintaining others at a constant level. Modified pectin medium-A, in which both Fe++ and Cu++ were omitted, gave the maximum growth of A. heteromorphus. Maximum PME production was obtained when an inoculum size of 4x106 spores mL-1 was incubated in modified pectin medium-A for 144 h at pH 4.5 and at a temperature of 30°C under static conditions in submerged fermentation. Out of the various nitrogen and carbon sources tested, dibasic ammonium phosphate and pectin were found to be the best N and C source, respectively. After standaradizing various process variables, a three fold increase in PME production by A. heteromorphus was achieved. Orange peel, a waste byproduct of fruit industry could effectively replace pectin as C-source thus, making the process cost effective. The PME produced by A. heteromorphus had the pH optimum in acidic range-a characteristic which could be exploited for its use in fruit processing industry.

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