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A gene encoding the mannanase of Bacillus subtilis WL-3, which had been isolated from Korean soybean paste, was cloned into Escherichia coli, and the nucleotide sequence of a 2.7-kb DNA fragment containing the mannanase gene was subsequently determined. The mannanase gene, designated manA, consisted of 1,080 nucleotides encoding a polypeptide of 360 amino acid residues. The deduced amino acid sequence was highly homologous to those of mannanases belonging to glycosyl hydrolase family 26. The manA gene was strongly expressed in B. subtilis 168 by cloning the gene downstream of a strong B. subtilis promoter of plasmid pJ27Δ88U. In flask cultures, the production of mannanase by recombinant B. subtilis 168 reached maximum levels of 300 units/ml and 450 units/ml in LB medium and LB medium containing 0.3% locust bean gum, respectively. Based on the zymogram of the mannanase, it was found that the mannanase produced by recombinant B. subtilis could be maintained stably without proteolytic degradation during the culture time.