Amylase enzymes are industrially important enzymes used in food, sugar, textile, pharmaceutical, paper and detergent industries. The main objective of this study was to isolate, produce and optimize α-amylase enzyme using a fungal strain isolated from fruit peel soil wastes. Media optimization was done by one-factor at a time method. Average values of duplicate experiments were taken. Microsoft office Excel worksheet 2010 was used for data analysis. Soil samples were collected from three places and a total of 89 fungal isolates were isolated. All isolates were screened for their potential to produce amylase based on the clear zone formation on starch agar media, of which isolate FAB-211 showed the maximum potential to produce amylase and considered for further study. The isolate was further characterized based on colony morphology and microscopic mount and the isolate FAB-211 was Aspergillus niger. Important process parameters affecting amylase activity with the fungal isolate were optimized. The maximum activity (0.483 U/ml) was observed at pH of 6.0 and temperature at 45°C was found to be the best for amylase activity (1.241 U/ml). The highest and least alpha-amylase production was found when 6 and 2 discs spore of A. niger FAB-211 were used, respectively. Maximum yield of alpha amylase (0.281 U/ml) was observed on the 3rd day of incubation period followed by 4, 6 and 5th days. Maltose and yeast extract were found to be the best carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Therefore, further optimization of parameters and characterization of A. niger FAB-211 amylase is important for their application in industries.
Key words: Fungi, amylase enzyme, Aspergillus niger, FAB-211.