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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Jul;59(2-3):190-7. Epub 2002 Jun 8.

Molecular cloning and the biochemical characterization of two novel phytases from B. subtilis 168 and B. licheniformis.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


A novel phytase gene ( phyL) was cloned from Bacillus licheniformis by multiple steps of degenerate and inverse PCR. The coding region of the phyL gene was 1,146 bp in size and a promoter region of approximately 300 bp was identified at the upstream sequence. This gene, together with a phytase gene ( 168phyA) identified in the B. subtilis strain 168 genome by a homology search, was cloned and over-expressed in B. subtilis using a phi105MU331 prophage vector system. Up to 35 units of phytase/ml were secreted into the culture media; and mature enzymes of around 44-47 kDa were purified for characterization. Both phytases exhibited broad temperature and pH optima and showed high thermostability. Of the two, the phytase encoded by phyL exhibited higher thermostability, even at a lower calcium concentration, as it was able to recover 80% of its original activity after denaturation at 95 degrees C for 10 min. With their neutral pH optima and good temperature stabilities, these Bacillus phytases are good candidates for animal feed applications and transgenic studies.

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