In the present study, an inulinase producing fungal isolate BGPUP-9 was isolated from inulin-rich root tubers of Asparagus racemosus. On the basis of morphological characterization and 18S rRNA gene sequencing, fungal isolate BGPUP-9 was identified as Mucor circinelloides. In shake-flask fermentations, agitation mode of cultivation showed a significant increase in inulinase production (7.10 IU/mL) from Mucor circinelloides BGPUP-9. Maximum inulinase production was observed after 4 days of cultivation at 30°C, under agitation (150 rpm). After medium optimization studies, medium containing: inulin, 2.5%, NH4H2PO4, 3.0%, KH2PO4, 0.2%, KCl, 0.1% and adjusted to pH 6.0, supported maximum (23.55 IU/mL) inulinase production. Thin layer chromatogram revealed exoinulolytic nature of the enzyme. This is the first report on inulinase production from Mucor circinelloides. The investigation depicts Mucor circinelloides BGPUP-9 as a potent candidate for inulinase production.
Key words: Inulinase, Mucor circinelloides, 18S rRNA, Shake-flask fermentations