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To investigate the effect of amino acids, vitamins and surfactants on polygalacturonase production from Bacillus sp. MG-cp-2 under submerged (SmF) and solid state fermentation (SSF).Bacillus sp. MG-cp-2 was isolated from the outer covering of the seeds of Celastrus paniculatus. Out of the various surfactants, amino acids and vitamins, Tween-60, DL-serine and folic acid maximally enhanced polygalacturonase production by 2·7-fold (240·0 U ml−1), 4·0-fold (360·0 U ml−1) and 3·8-fold (342·0 U ml−1) respectively, under submerged fermentation (SmF). In solid state fermentation (SSF), Tween-80, pyridoxine and DL-ornithine monohydrochloride induced highest enzyme production up to 1·73-fold (6956·5 U g−1), 5·3-fold (21224·4 U g−1) and 5·74-fold (23076·9 U g−1), respectively.Amino acids and their analogues, vitamins and surfactants effect significantly polygalacturonase production by Bacillus sp. MG-cp-2 when grown under submerged (SmF) and solid state fermentation (SSF) conditions.The study provides useful information about regulation of polygalacturonase biosynthesis in Bacillus sp. MG-cp-2, which appears to be an interplay of nutritional and physical factors. Alkaline polygalacturonase from Bacillus sp. MG-cp-2 will be extremely useful in the treatment of alkaline pectic waste waters from vegetable and fruit processing industries and in degumming of bast fibres.