An extra-cellular thermo-alkaliphillic protease producing Bacillus was isolated from the soil and identified to be Bacillus tequilensis MTCC 9585 by microscopic, colony morphology, biochemical and 16S ribotyping. B. tequilensis MTCC 9585 produces protease up to 21 h of growth but interestingly 90% of the protease production occurred, just after 6 h of growth. The organism grew as well as and produced enzyme at wide pH (5 to 12) and temperature range (4, 25, 37 and 50°C), though optimum temperature and pH for the growth of the Bacillus were 37°C and pH 7.0. Optimum pH for enzyme activity coincided with optimum pH for enzyme production at pH 10. Optimum temperature for enzyme activity was 60°C and the enzyme stayed stable over the period of 270 days (9 months) at 10°C. Metal ions like Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ increased the enzyme activity whereas Cu2+, Zn2+inhibit the activity slightly. Wash performance and stain removal efficiency increased when partially purified enzyme was used in conjunction with selected detergent. B. tequilensiscan be a potential candidate for use in detergent industry because: of couple of reasons such as (i) 90% of the protease is produced only after 6 h of growth (economically viable), (ii) it’s activity in wide pH and temperature range (iii) it’s stability over the period of 9 months at 10°C indicating good shelf life and (iv) detergent compatibility.
Key words: Bacillus tequilensis, alkaline protease, pH, temperature, detergent compatibility.
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