Peels of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) were buried in the soil for 14 days and the isolates associated with the degradation of the peels were obtained using standard microbiological procedures. The bacterial isolates obtained were screened for amylolytic and cellulolytic activities under different pH and temperatures as parameters and optimized for enzyme production. Sixteen (16) bacterial isolates were obtained and characterized and screened for amylase and cellulase production. Bacillus pumilus has the highest frequency of occurrence (18.75%) followed by B. subtilis (12.50%). After 24 to 48 h of incubation, B. pumilus produced highest concentration of amylase at 55°C, pH 6 (5.4 U/mL) while B. subtilis had the best cellulase production of 0.75 U/mL at 55°C, pH 7. B. pumilus and Bacillus subtilis produced the highest amylase and cellulase concentrations and seem to be the potential sources of these enzymes for industrial application.
Key words: Sweet potato peel, amylase, cellulase, bacteria.