Proteases from Extremophilic Fungi: A Tool for White Biotechnology

  • Richa Salwan
  • Vivek Sharma
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


Proteases are enzymes that degrade proteinaceous materials and find applications in detergents, leather, food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and bioremediation. They are produced by plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria. Among all, fungi produce acidic, neutral, and alkaline proteases, whereas bacteria produce only alkaline and neutral proteases. Despite the availability of microbial proteases in huge amounts, less number of proteases has been commercialized due to high cost and less stability to withstand harsh conditions in industrial processes. To meet the industrial demand, proteases have been engineered using genomic tools including recombinant DNA technology, site-directed mutagenesis, codon optimization, and nucleotide shuffling for enhanced expression. On the other hand, fungi living in extreme habitats have gained considerable importance for producing efficient proteases which can easily withstand conditions applied in industrial processes. Moreover, the downstream processing and recovery of fungal proteases is easy and cost-effective which is a major obstacle in industrial processes. Therefore, fungal proteases have high industrial demand due to stability and catalytic activity, broad diversity, and substrate specificity required in various bioengineering and biotechnological applications. This chapter illustrates type of proteases and their sources, characteristic properties, and their engineering for various biotechnological applications.


Agriculture Bioremediation Extremophilic fungi Industrial Pharmaceuticals Protease 



The authors are thankful to SEED Division, DST, for financial support under the project SP/YO/125/2017. The authors also acknowledge UCRD, Chandigarh University, for providing necessary infrastructure.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richa Salwan
    • 1
  • Vivek Sharma
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. Y.S Parmar - University of Horticulture and Forestry)Neri, HamirpurIndia
  2. 2.University Centre for Research and Development, Chandigarh UniversityGharuan, MohaliIndia

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