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Bacillus species are widely used for thermostable α-amylase production for various applications such as in the detergent and food industries. This research aimed to study the production of α-amylase by B. subtilis IMD34 in submerged fermentation conditions using Plackett-Burman (PB) design, along with the optimization of certain environmental factors for optimal growth of amylolytic bacteria. Plackett-Burman design was used to evaluate the effect of ten independent variables on α-amylase production. Maximum enzyme activity was recorded in a medium containing (g/l); starch (6.0), peptone (12.0), K2HPO4 (1.0), Na2HPO4 (2.0), NaCl (0.6), Na2SO4 (0.1), MgSO4.7H20 (1.0), FeCl3.6H2O (0.02), CaCl2.2H2O (0.02) and with an agitation speed (200 rpm). From the pareto chart it was observed that the most important independent variables for amylase production were starch, peptone, NaCl, Mg2SO4, CaCl2.2H2O and agitation. Optimization of environmental parameters to assess their effect on the growth of bacteria showed that optimal pH, incubation time and temperature were recorded at 6, 48h and 37˚C. Evaluating independent variables statistically using PB design revealed that some of the medium’s components had a positive impact on α-amylase production by B. subtilis IMD34.
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