Protease Production by Submerged Fermentation in Shake Flasks Using Bacillus sp. Isolated from the Soil

J. Okpalla *

Department of Microbiology, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, P.M.B. 02 Uli, Anambra State, Nigeria.

D. A. Onyekuru

Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

I. E. Duru

Department of Microbiology, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, P.M.B. 02 Uli, Anambra State, Nigeria.

T. O. Mba

Department of Microbiology, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, P.M.B. 02 Uli, Anambra State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Proteases are one of the most industrially important enzymes, which account for about 60% of total enzyme market. Protease production by submerged fermentation in shake flasks using Bacillus sp. isolated from the soil was studied. Soil samples were collected from different locations within Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, Anambra state. The soil samples were serially diluted and inoculated on sterilized skim milk agar plates. The plates were incubated at 30oC for 72 h. A clear zone around the colonies gave an indication of protease-producing bacteria isolates.   The selected protease producers were subsequently used for shake flask fermentation in 50 ml sterile medium. Optimization study was conducted to determine the effect of carbon sources, nitrogen sources, trace elements, agitation rates and pH.  Twenty one bacteria isolates were found to be active protease producers and isolates RS-5 and OS-9 had the highest zone of clearance of 13.5 and 12.1 mm respectively. The result of submerged production of protease by the  bacteria isolates  revealed that the isolates RS-5 and OS-9 accumulated maximum protease yield of 3.23 and 2.71 U/ml respectively. The isolates were Gram positive and endospore formers, and were identified as Bacillus sp. RS-5 and OS-9.The addition of Starch and maltose stimulated optimum protease production of 3.47 and 2.77 U/ml by Bacillus sp. RS-5 and OS-9 respectively. Beef extract enhanced maximum enzyme yield of 3.35 and 2.90 U/ml for Bacillus sp. RS-5 and OS-9 respectively. Maximum protease yield of 3.28 U/ml for Bacillus sp. RS-5 and 2.85 U/ml for Bacillus sp. OS-9 was obtained by the supplementation of 0.4 g/l of FeS04 respectively. The maximum protease yield was observed at agitation rate of 200 rpm for Bacillus sp. RS-5 and 170 rpm for Bacillus sp. OS-9. At pH8, protease accumulation was highest for Bacillus sp. RS-5 and OS-9. The study revealed that the soil harbours some protease-producing bacteria strains and protease production can be greatly enhanced through optimization of process parameters.

Keywords: Soil, Bacillus species, protease, submerged, fermentation, trace elements

How to Cite

Okpalla, J., Onyekuru, D. A., Duru, I. E., & Mba, T. O. (2022). Protease Production by Submerged Fermentation in Shake Flasks Using Bacillus sp. Isolated from the Soil. Microbiology Research Journal International, 32(10), 42–51.


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