α-Amylases from Microbial Sources – An Overview on Recent Developments

Swetha Sivaramakrishnan1, Dhanya Gangadharan1, Kesavan Madhavan Nampoothiri1, Carlos Ricardo Soccol2 and Ashok Pandey1

1Biotechnology Division, Regional Research Laboratory, CSIR, Trivandrum 695 019, India
2Process Biotechnology Laboratory, Federal University of Parana, 81531-970 Curitiba-PR, Brazil

Article history:

Received October 10, 2005
Accepted March 11, 2006

Key words:

α-amylase, α-1,4-O-glycosidic bonds, fermentation, process optimization, enzyme characteristics, enzyme engineering


This review covers the progress made in research on microbial α-amylase, a highly demanded industrial enzyme in various sectors such as food, pharmaceuticals, textiles, detergents, etc. Amylases are of ubiquitous occurrence and hold the maximum market share of enzyme sales. The article surveys the α-amylase family and the major characteristics, microbial sources, production aspects, downstream processing, salient biochemical properties, industrial applications, enzyme engineering and some recent research developments.

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