BACKGROUNDSeeds of the legume plant Lathyrus sativus, which is grown in arid and semi arid tropical regions, contain Diamino Propionic acid (DAP). DAP is a neurotoxin, which, when consumed, causes a disease called Lathyrism. Lathryrism may manifest as Neurolathyrism or Osteolathyrism, in which the nervous system, and bone formation respectively, are affected. DAP ammonia lyase is produced by a few microorganisms such as Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium and Pseudomonas, and is capable of detoxifying DAP.RESULTSS. typhimurium PU011, a non-virulent bacterial strain isolated in our lab, was found to produce DAP ammonia lyase enzyme when grown in minimal medium containing DAP. There was a direct correlation between biomass yield and enzyme activity, until 16 h post inoculation in minimal medium containing DAP. Following ammonium sulphate precipitation and passing through Sephadex G100, CM-Sephadex and DEAE-Sephacel for crude enzyme extract preparation, about 68-fold enzyme purity was obtained. The purified enzyme gave maximum activity at pH 8.0 and was stable up to 45 degrees C. The Km value for the substrate was found to be 0.685 mM, calculated from a Line Weaver Burk plot.CONCLUSIONA new bacterial strain, S.typhimurium PU 011, which is capable of producing DAP ammonia lyase, was isolated.