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Genetic element (GENE)
published: 09 Jun 2006 last updated: 04 Sep 2012
amy797E alpha amylaseEN
Protein coding sequence
The chimeric amy797E gene was assembled from the sequences of three wild-type alpha-amylase genes from the archaeal order Thermococcales designated as BD5031, BD5064 and BD5063 (Richardson et al., 2002).
The amy797E gene encodes a thermostable alpha-amylase. Alpha-amylases catalyse the hydrolysis of starch by cleaving the internal alpha-1,4-glucosidic bonds of starch into dextrins, maltose and glucose (saccharification). Splitting starch into sugar is the first step in producing bioethanol from plants. Plants like maize naturally contain their own amylases. They get destroyed, however, when maize is subjected to high temperatures for ethanol production. Typically, supplemental amylase preparations must be added. Heat stable amalyse makes this step unneccessary.