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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Term Phytase Comprises Several Different Classes of Enzymes

Authors
item Mullaney, Edward
item Ullah, Abul

Submitted to: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 5, 2003
Citation: Mullaney, E.J., Ullah, A.H. 2003. Phytases comprises structurally different classes of enzymes. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 312(1):179-184.

Interpretive Summary: Phytase is an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, which is abundantly present in soybean meals and other legume. Phytic acid binds essential minerals and interferes with mineral nutrition in monogastric animals such as poultry, swine, and human. The undigested phytic acid present in the animal feces also creates an environmental nightmare because these could be digested by microbially produced phytase, which in turn can pollute groundwater. The recent proliferation of phytase research makes it important to now recognize that the term "phytase" has become a broad general classification that includes several structurally different enzymes. Histidine acid phosphatase (HAP), beta propeller phytase (BPP) and purple acid phosphatase (PAP) have all been reported to have at least one phytate-degrading representative. This fact now makes it important to realize that a finding applicable to one phytase will not automatically be applicable to all other enzymes collectively grouped under this title. It has become the researcher's responsibility to insure that they clearly identify the specific enzyme and its class in all their communications. This is especially important if additional classes of enzymes are found to have phytate-degrading capabilities and they are labeled as a "phytase."

Technical Abstract: Phytase is becoming a widely adopted means to reduce phosphorus from swine and poultry operations when soybean meal is used in the animal's diet. Adding phytase to the soybean meal helps these animals digest and absorb more of the phosphorus by breaking down the phytic acid in the meal. The phosphorus can then be used by the animals and not lost in their manure. A recent proliferation of phytase research makes it important for scientists to now know that the term "phytase" has become a broad general classification that includes several structurally different enzymes. Researchers must now realize that a finding applicable to one phytase will not automatically be applicable to all other enzymes collectively grouped under this title. This manuscript points out this fact and also how the enzymes differ. Each one of these different phytases has their own characteristics and requirements. Also, all of them may not be equally effective as an animal feed additive.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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