Response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to optimize the conditions of levansucrase production by Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, an uninvestigated strain ofBacillus. The effects of the medium sucrose concentrations (100 to 350 g/L), pH (4.0 to 7.0), fermentation time (24 to 48 h) and agitation (100 to 200 rpm) were studied simultaneously using factorial analysis. The results showed that the optimum condition for levansucrase production was 300 g/L sucrose concentration, pH 6.0, 24 h of fermentation and 180 rpm agitation, reaching 6.57 UA activity. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a high coefficient of determination (R2: 0.9486) ensuring a satisfactory adjustment of quadratic model with the experimental data. The variables: sucrose concentration, pH and agitation were significant at the level of 5%. A high similarity was observed between the predicted and experimental results, which reflected the accuracy and applicability of RSM to optimize the process for levansucrase production. This is the first report on levansucrase production by B. subtilis ATCC 6633 using response surface methodology in sucrose fermentation.
Key words: Statistical methodology, bacterial enzyme, sucrose, fermentation time, pH.
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