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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Thermophilic fungi, DNase, RNase, Affinity purification


A thermophilic fungus was isolated from composted horse manure. The organism was as a Chaetomium sp. by sequencing the highly conserved ITS region of the fungus and comparing to known regions in a genomic database and was referred to as TM-417. TM-417 was found to have an optimal growth temperature of 45 oC and an optimal pH of 7.0. An extracellular DNase and RNase was found to be produced by the isolate and were purified 145.58-fold and 127.6-fold respectively using a combination of size exclusion chromatography and a novel affinity membrane purification system. The extent of purification was determined electrophoretically using 4-15% gradient polyacrylamide gels. Both DNase and RNase were dependent on metal co-factors for activity. The metal ion Mg2+ was the preferred ion for the DNase, whereas for the RNase, Zn2+ and Mn2+ yielded an increase in enzyme activity over that with Mg2+. The purified DNase demonstrated maximum activity at pH 6.0 with no activity at pH 2.0 or 10.0. The RNase exhibited two peaks of maximum activity, on at pH 3.0 and the other at pH 7.0 with no activity at pH 2.0 or 10.0. The optimal temperature for the purified DNase was 65oC. The optimal temperature for the RNase was 70oC. The molecular of the DNase and RNase were determined to be 56 kDa and 69kDa respectively using a Sephadex G-75 column. A standard curve was generated using several standard proteins of known molecular weight.


First Advisor

Robert E Levin