Chitinases have received substantial attention owing to their potential application in environmental protection for clearing the waste generated in shrimp and crab processing industry. We report a chitinase producing fungus isolated from soil samples of Andhra Pradesh, India, where shrimp shells were dumped regularly. The isolated fungus was identified as a Malbranchea chrysosporioidea and an extracellular chitinase was purified from the culture filtrate of Malbranchea chrysosporioidea. The purified chitinase has a molecular weight of 100 kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE further being confirmed by activity staining using glycol chitin in the gel. The isoelectric point of purified enzyme was 8.45. The enzyme exhibited an optimum pH of 9.0 and a temperature of 370C, with swollen chitin as the substrate. The enzyme was unusually activated by Cd2+ and inhibited by Zn2+, Co2+ and As3+. Results of RP-HPLC analysis of hydrolytic products revealed a unique nature of purified chitinase, exhibiting exochitinase and b-N-acetyl hexosaminidase activities releasing chitobiose and N-acetylglucosamine respectively as end products. To our knowledge, this is the first report on purification and characterization of a chitinase from Malbranchea chrysosporioidea isolated from soil of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Malbranchea chrysosporioidea, Chitinase purification, Exochitinase and β-N-acetyl hexosaminidase activities
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