Molecular Characterization and Comparative Phylogenetic Analysis of Phytases from Fungi with Their Prospective Applications

Iti Gontia-Mishra and Sharad Tiwari*

Biotechnology Centre, J. N. Agricultural University, Adhartal, Jabalpur 482004, India

Article history:

Received September 6, 2012
Accepted January 9, 2013

Key words:

fungal phytases, phylogenetic relationship, phytase gene regulation, biotechnological applications


Plant seeds that have high phytate content are used as animal feed. Phytases, enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of phytate into inorganic phosphorus and myoinositol phosphate derivatives, have been intensively studied in recent years and gained immense attention because of their application in reducing phytate content in animal feed and food for human consumption, thus indirectly lowering environmental pollution caused by undigested phytate. This review is focused on summarising the current knowledge on recent developments of fungal and yeast phytases. Comparative account on diverse sources and physiological roles, molecular characteristics and regulation mechanisms of phytases are discussed. Phylogenetic relationship of phytases from different classes of fungi is studied in details. It is inferred on the basis of phylogeny that phytases from Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes differ in the amino acid sequences, therefore they fall in separate clade in the tree. The prospective biotechnological applications of microbial phytases such as animal feed additives, probiotics, pharmaceuticals, as well as in aquaculture, food industry, paper manufacturing, development of transgenic plants and animals with special reference to its use as biofertilizers are also emphasised in this review.

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