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Two Strategies for Microbial Production of an Industrial Enzyme-Alpha-AmylaseExtremophiles are microorganisms that thrive in, from an anthropocentric view, extreme environments including hot springs, soda lakes and arctic water. This ability of survival at extreme conditions has rendered extremophiles to be of interest in astrobiology, evolutionary biology as well as in industrial applications. Of particular interest to the biotechnology industry are the biological catalysts of the extremophiles, the extremozymes, whose unique stabilities at extreme conditions make them potential sources of novel enzymes in industrial applications. There are two major approaches to microbial enzyme production. This entails enzyme isolation directly from the natural host or creating a recombinant expression system whereby the targeted enzyme can be overexpressed in a mesophilic host. We are employing both methods in the effort to produce alpha-amylases from a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Thermococcus) isolated from a hydrothermal vent in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as from alkaliphilic bacteria (Bacillus) isolated from a soda lake in Tanzania. Alpha-amylases catalyze the hydrolysis of internal alpha-1,4-glycosidic linkages in starch to produce smaller sugars. Thermostable alpha-amylases are used in the liquefaction of starch for production of fructose and glucose syrups, whereas alpha-amylases stable at high pH have potential as detergent additives. The alpha-amylase encoding gene from Thermococcus was PCR amplified using carefully designed primers and analyzed using bioinformatics tools such as BLAST and Multiple Sequence Alignment for cloning and expression in E.coli. Four strains of Bacillus were grown in alkaline starch-enriched medium of which the culture supernatant was used as enzyme source. Amylolytic activity was detected using the starch-iodine method.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Bernhardsdotter, Eva C. M. J. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Garriott, Owen (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Pusey, Marc L. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Ng, Joseph D. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits