Production of cellulolytic and xylanolytic enzymes during growth of the anaerobic fungus Piromyces sp. on different substrates.

Research paper by M J MJ Teunissen, G V GV de Kort, H J HJ Op den Camp, J H JH Huis in 't Veld

Indexed on: 01 Aug '92Published on: 01 Aug '92Published in: Journal of general microbiology


Piromyces sp. strain E2, an anaerobic fungus isolated from an Indian elephant (hindgut fermenter) was tested for its ability to ferment a range of substrates. The fungus was able to use bagasse, cellobiose, cellulose, fructose, glucose, lactose, mannose, starch, wheat bran, wheat straw, xylan and xylose. Formate and acetate were the main fermentation products after growth on these substrates. The amount of carbon found in the fermentation products of cultures, in which substrate digestion was complete averaged 88.5 mM, or 59% of the carbon offered as substrate. No growth was observed on other substrates tested. Lactose, starch, cellobiose and filter paper cellulose were good inducers of cellulolytic and xylanolytic enzymes. Cellulolytic and xylanolytic enzymes were produced constitutively by Piromyces strain E2, although enzyme activities were generally lower after growth on glucose and other soluble sugars. Complex substrates (bagasse, wheat bran, and wheat straw) were good inducers for xylanolytic enzymes but not for cellulolytic enzymes. The extracellular protein banding pattern after SDS-PAGE was therefore only slightly affected by the growth substrate. Identical beta-glucosidase and endoglucanase activity patterns were found after growth on different substrates. This indicated that differences in enzyme activities were not the result of secretion of different sets of isoenzymes although it remains possible that the relative amount of each isoenzyme produced is influenced by the growth substrate.