AMB Express

Phytase production by Aspergillus niger NCIM 563 for a novel application to degrade organophosphorus pesticides.

PMID 28321795


The production of phytase using Aspergillus niger NCIM 563 under submerged fermentation conditions was studied using protein rich chickpea flour as substrate. Employing a hybrid statistical media optimization strategy of Plackett-Burman and Box-Behnken experimental designs in shake-flasks gave an increased phytase activity from an initial 66 IU/mL in 216 h to 160 IU/mL in a reduced time of 132 h. Productivity, thus increased by 3.97 times from 7.3 to 29 IU/mL/day. Using the optimized media, the production was successfully scaled-up further and improved up to 164 IU/mL in 96 h by studies carried out employing 2 and 10-L fermenters. The enzyme supernatant was recovered using centrifugal separation of biomass and the stability of the produced phytase was tested for animal feed applications under gastric conditions. In vitro degradation studies of water soluble monocrotophos, methyl parathion and water insoluble chlorpyrifos, pesticides used extensively in agriculture was carried out. It was observed by HPLC analysis that phytase could degrade 72% of chlorpyrifos at pH 7.0, 35 °C. Comparable results were obtained with monocrotophos and methyl parathion. With chlorpyrifos at higher temperature 50 °C as much as 91% degradation could be obtained. The degradation of chlorpyrifos was further validated by spraying phytase on harvested green chilli (Capsicum annuum L) under normal conditions of pH 7.0, 35 °C and the degradation products obtained analyzed by LCMS. Thus, the present study brings out a potentially novel application of phytase for biodegradation of organophosphorus pesticides.