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Bacillus sp. RM16 was isolated from a hot spring in Karachi and screened for the production of α- amylase. The enzyme was obtained after 72 h cultivation of strain in Luria broth containing 1% starch (w/v). Enzyme Amy RM16 was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by a series of sequential steps including precipitation with ammonium sulfate at 70% saturation, Q-Sepharose, Phenyl Sepharose and reversed phase chromatography. The purified enzyme is made up of a single polypeptide chain of 66 kDa as established by a combination of SDS-PAGE and zymographic analysis. In our experimental conditions, a total yield of 1.35% with specific activity of 6380U/mg was obtained providing 17 fold final purification of the enzyme. Biochemical characterization of the Amy RM16 such as optimum temperature and pH, substrate specificity and enzymatic susceptibilities towards different metal ions and inhibitors were also performed. Results of these studies revealed that, the enzyme is active at wide temperature range with optimum activity at 80°C and retained 85% of the activity for 3 h at 50°C and around 50% of remaining activity for 1 h at 80°C. The enzyme showed optimum activity at pH 5.0. On the other hand, Ca+2 and EDTA (1 to 5 mM) did not significantly affect the enzyme activity. The main substrate for the enzyme was found to be starch but it could also hydrolyze raw starch, dextrin, γ-cyclodextrin and pullulan.
Key words: Ca2+-independent, Bacillus sp, thermostable α-amylases, low pH profile, enzyme, raw starch digestion, HPLC.