Protease is an enzyme that conducts proteolysis and receives high attention as the most important enzyme in many industries. The enzymes find applications in waste treatment, bioremediation process, detergents and leather industry. However, the search for microbial sources of novel proteases in natural diversity is a promising area of interest for researchers. In the present research work, protease producing microorganisms were isolated from soil samples collected from three different locations in Petaling Jaya region from soil surface and at depths of 15 cm. The isolated organisms screened for their protease generating abilities by using the skim milk agar experiment. The isolates that gave high positive results in screening identified as Aspergillus sp., Rhizopus sp., Fusarium sp., and Mucor sp. by analyzing the colonies morphology and using lacto- phenol cotton blue (LPCB) staining technique. Among these isolates, Aspergillus sp. 14L3S which isolated from soil surface demonstrated the highest protease activity indicated by the clear zone around the colony which is incubated at room temperature and maintained a pH of about 6.0 for 96 hours. The results showed that among the isolates four fungi had great potential to be used for the production of protease enzymes and upscale for industrial production.
Isolation, Protease, Skimmed milk, lacto- phenol cotton blue, Colony
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