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An antifungal chitinase produced by Bacillus subtilis using chitin waste as a carbon source


The production of inexpensive chitinolytic enzymes is an element in the utilization of shellfish-processing waste. In this study, shrimp and crab shell powder, prepared by treating shrimp- and crab-processing waste by boiling and crushing, was used as a substrate for the isolation of an antifungal chitinase-producing microorganism. Bacillus subtilis NPU 001, a strain isolated from soil samples, excreted a chitinase when cultured in a medium containing 2% (w/v) shrimp and crab shell powder as the major carbon source. The chitinase, which was purified by sequential chromatography, had a Mw of 31 kDa and a pI of 5.4. The purified chitinase (2 mg ml−1) inhibited hyphal extension of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Compared with other known bacterial chitinases, the unique characteristics of NPU 001 chitinase include antifungal activity against plant-pathogenic fungi and the production of chitotriose as the major enzymatic hydrolysate from colloidal chitin.

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This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Council, Republic of China (NSC97-2221-E-346-005).

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Correspondence to Wen-Teish Chang.

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Chang, W., Chen, M. & Wang, S. An antifungal chitinase produced by Bacillus subtilis using chitin waste as a carbon source. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 26, 945–950 (2010).

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  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Chitinase
  • Fusarium
  • Shrimp and crab shell