The conditions for immobilizing the new alkaline protease-producing bacteria strain Teredinobacter turnirae by entrapment in calcium alginate gel were investigated. The influence of alginate concentration (20, 25 and 30 g/l) and initial cell loading (ICL) on enzyme production were studied. The production of alkaline protease improved significantly with increasing alginate concentration and reached a maximum enzyme yield of 8000 U/ml at 25 g/l alginate concentration. This was about 176.8% higher than that obtained by free cells (2890 U/ml). The immobilized cells produced alkaline protease consistently over 5 repeated cycles and reached a maximal value of 9000 U/ml on the third cycle. This was 311.4% (3.11-fold) as compared with the control (free cells). Simple mass balance analysis was applied to describe the growth and the protease production behaviour of both fractions the cells in free form and the entrapped in Ca-alginate beads. Scanning electron microscope studies indicated the internal distribution pattern of the cells encapsulated in Ca-alginate beads. The results presented in this paper show the potential for using immobilized T. turnirae cells in Ca-alginate for the production of a novel alkaline protease.
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