Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 22;12(1):17791. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-22723-x.
Xylanases are hydrolytic enzymes with a wide range of applications in several industries such as biofuels, paper and pulp, food, and feed. The objective of this study was to optimize the culture conditions and medium components for maximal xylanase production from a newly isolated Trichoderma harzianum strain using the Plackett-Burman Design (PBD) and Box Behnken Design (BBD) experimental strategies. Xylanase production was enhanced 4.16-fold to 153.80 U/ml by BBD compared to a preliminary one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) activity of 37.01 U/ml and 2.24-fold compared to the PBD (68.70 U/ml). The optimal conditions for xylanase production were: 6 days of fermentation, incubation temperature of 70 °C, pH 5.0, agitation of 160 rpm, and 1.2% wheat bran and ammonium sulphate. The experimental design effectively provided conditions for the production of an acidic-thermostable enzyme with exciting potential for application in animal feed improvement. The acidic-thermostable xylanase was purified from the submerged culture and SDS-PAGE analysis revealed a molecular weight of 72 kDa. This protein had maximum xylanolytic activity at pH 6.0 and 65 °C and was stable for 4 h retaining > 70% activity and exhibited substrate specificity for beechwood xylan with a Km of 5.56 mg/ml and Vmax of 1052.63 µmol/min/mg. Enzyme activity was enhanced by Fe2+, Mg2+, and Zn2+. There was an absence of strong inhibitors of xylanase activity. Overall, these characteristics indicate the potential for at least two industrial applications.