The Anaerobic Fungus Neocallimastix sp. Strain L2: Growth and Production of (Hemi)Cellulolytic Enzymes on a Range of Carbohydrate Substrates

Research paper by Rembrandt Dijkerman, Jeroen Ledeboer, Huub J.M. Op den Camp, Rudolf A. Prins, Chris van der Drift

Indexed on: 01 Feb '97Published on: 01 Feb '97Published in: Current Microbiology


The anaerobic fungus Neocallimastix sp. strain L2, isolated from the feces of a llama, was tested for growth on a range of soluble and insoluble carbohydrate substrates. The fungus was able to ferment glucose, cellobiose, fructose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, soluble starch, inulin, filter paper cellulose, and Avicel. No growth was observed on arabinose, galactose, mannose, ribose, xylose, sorbitol, pectin, xylan, glycerol, citrate, soya, and wheat bran. The fermentation products after growth were hydrogen, formate, acetate, ethanol, and lactate. The fermentation pattern was dependent on the carbon source. In general, higher hydrogen production resulted in decreased formation of lactate and ethanol. Recovery of the fermented carbon in products at the end of growth ranged from 50% to 80%. (Hemi)cellulolytic enzyme activities were affected by the carbon source. Highest activities were found in filtrates from cultures grown on cellulose. Growing the fungus on inulin and lactose yielded the lowest cellulolytic activities. Highest specific activities for avicelase, endoglucanase, β-glucosidase, and xylanase were obtained with Avicel as the substrate for growth (0.29, 5.9, 0.57, and 13 IU · mg−1 protein, respectively). Endoglucanase activity banding patterns after SDS-PAGE were very similar for all substrates. Minor differences indicated that enzyme activities may in part be the result of secretion of different sets of isoenzymes.