The gene encoding pectate lyase (PL) from Bacillus subtilis WSHB04–02 was amplified by PCR, fused with a periplasmic secretion signal peptide sequence, pelB, from pET22b(+), cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli cells using a temperature control vector, pHsh. The recombinant E. coil was grown in a 5 l fermentor. PL was secreted in broth at 22 U l-1 after 20 h when temperature was increased from 30°C to 42°C. The recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity as judged by SDS-PAGE. It was optimally active at pH 9.4 and 50°C over 30 min. Analysis of polygalacturonic acid (PGA) degradation products by electrospray ionization (ESI)-mass spectrometry (MS) indicated that PL produced a mixture of unsaturated oligo-galacturonides including unsaturated tri-galacturonic acid and unsaturated bi-galacturonic acid but not unsaturated mono-galacturonic acid.