The study was conducted to isolate and identify tannase producing fungi from soil. Soil samples were collected aseptically and cultured on tannic acid agar (TAA) to screen for tannic acid hydrolysis. The observed isolates were sub-cultured to obtain pure culture and were later subjected to secondary screening in the Czapek medium. The biomass weight, tannase activity, and gallic acid concentration in the fermentation broth were determined using standard protocols. Fungal isolates with promising tannase activity were further used to produce tannase using acacia nuts and pine apple peel as sources of tannin. From the results obtained, a total of seven isolates showing good tannin degradation in both primary and secondary screening were identified by phylogenetic characterization as Penicillium citrinum, Aspergillus niger strain, P. citrinum isolate K9, A. niger strain 7806F, Fusarium equiseti isolate GS-WW-F14-13, Aspergillus versicolor isolate 777 and A. niger strain SCSGAF0145. Under submerged fermentation, A. versicolor had the highest tannase activity of 22.49±1.17 U/mL using acacia nuts as substrate. In conclusion, the isolated fungal strain is a good tannase producer which can be explored for industrial processes.
Key words: Fungi, tannase, gallic acid.
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