Background: Xylanases of thermophilic origin are more robust and stable and hence more suitable for industrial applications. The aim of the research is to develop a robust mutant exhibiting enhanced xylanase activity. The strain (Bacillus aestuarii SC-2014) subjected to mutagenesis is thermophilic in origin and hence it is envisioned that the enhancement of its catalytic potential will enhance its industrial applicability.
Objective: The main aim was to develop a stable and vigorous mutant having higher xylanase activity and improved thermostability.
Method: The bacterial strain isolated from Tattapani hot springs of Himachal Pradesh (India) was mutagenized by single separate exposure of Ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) and N-methyl N-nitro N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG).
Results: A mutant library was generated and extensive screening led to identification of the most potent mutant strain was selected and designated as Bacillus sp. SC-2014 EMS200 (MTCC number 25046) which displayed not only enhanced xylanase activity and thermo stability but also appreciable genetic stability. This strain displayed a 3-fold increase in enzyme activity and simultaneously a significant reduction in fermentation time from 72 h to 48 h was also observed. The xylanase gene from wild and mutant strain were cloned, sequenced and subjected to molecular docking. Two mutations H121D and S123T were present inside the binding pocket.
Conclusion: Mutation H121D made the binding pocket more acidic and charged thus enhancing the xylanase activity for mutant protein. Mutations also resulted in charged amino acids (Y99K and H121D) which were identified as a probable cause for enhancing the thermostability of mutant protein.