Greener Journal of Biological Sciences Vol. 2 (3), pp. 035-039, November 2012
© 2011 Greener Journals
Detection of Thermostable Amylases Produced by Thermophilic Fungi Isolated from some Ethiopian Hyper-Thermal Springs
Professor Gulelat Dessa Haki and Tilahun Bekele Gezmu.
1Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Botswana, Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana.
2Food Technologist (MSc), PO Box 1176, Addis Ababa, University, Food Technologist, Center for Food Science and Nutrition, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Email: tbekele57 @ yahoo.com,
Cell phone: +251 927683939
One thousand five hundred and nine thermophilic strains of water and soil fungi from six hyperthermal springs of Ethiopia (Arbaminch, Awassa, Nazret, Shalla/Abijata, Wendo Genet and Yirgalem) were isolated on Potato Dextrose Agar at 45oC for 3 to 5 days. Amylase active fungi were detected by growing the purified organisms on starch agar plates and flooding by Gram’s iodine solution. During their metabolism 61 strains (about 4.04%) formed a clear halo around the colony while flooded with Gram’s iodine solution indicating starch degradation. While nearly 37.5% of the crude alpha amylase extracts obtained from the strains isolated from Shalla/Abijata showed activity at 60oC only about 8% of those obtained from Arbaminch effectively hydrolyzed starch at this temperature. Further purification and characterization studies of enzyme will lead to a better knowledge of promising candidates of thermophilic microorganisms and processing conditions for enhanced production of thermostable amylolytic enzymes.
Keywords: Ethiopian hot springs, thermostable alpha amylase, thermophillic fungi, starch