• metagenomic xylanase;
  • heterologous expression;
  • Bacillus subtilis;
  • pulp bleaching

A metagenomic xylanase gene (Mxyl) was successfully cloned into shuttle vector pWH1520 and expressed in Bacillus subtilis extracellularly. On induction with xylose, recombinant xylanase secretion commenced after 6 h. Identifying critical variables for recombinant xylanase production by one-variable-at-time approach followed by optimization of the selected variables (xylose, inoculum density, incubation density) by response surface methodology (RSM) led to three-fold enhancement in extracellular xylanase production (119 U mL−1). When the pulp was treated with recombinant xylanase at 80°C and pH 9.0, kappa number of the pulp was reduced with concomitant increase in brightness and 24% reduction in chlorine consumption. This is the first report on the expression of metagenomic xylanase gene in Bacillus subtilis extracellularly and its utility in developing an environment-friendly pulp bleaching process. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:1441–1447, 2013