Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.5, 2367-2379, 2019
Rapid micro-assays for amylolytic activities determination: customization and validation of the tests
High-throughput function-based screening techniques remain the major bottleneck in the novel biocatalysts development pipeline. In the present study, we customized protocols for amylolytic activity determination (Somogyi-Nelson and starch-iodine tests) to micro-volume thermalcycler-based assays (linearity range 60-600M of reducing sugar, R-2=0.9855; 0-2mg/mL of starch, R-2=0.9921, respectively). Exploitation of a thermalcycler enabled rapid and accurate temperature control, further reduction of reagents and samples volumes, and limited evaporation of the reaction mixtures, meeting several crucial requirements of an adequate enzymatic assay. In the optimized micro-volume Somogyi-Nelson protocol, we were able to reduce the time required for high-temperature heating sixfold (down to 5min) and further increase sensitivity of the assay (tenfold), when compared to the previous MTP-based protocol. The optimized microassays have complementary scope of specificities: micro-starch-iodine test for endoglucanases, micro-Somogyi-Nelson test for exoglucanases. Due to rapid, micro-volume and high-throughput character, the methods can complement toolbox assisting development of novel biocatalysts and analysis of saccharides-containing samples.