Occurrence of Cellulose Degraders in Vegetable Decaying Wastes


Cellulose is the major constituent of plant biomass. It is the most abundant carbohydrate in nature and regarded as an important renewable resource for bioconservation. It is the most common organic polymer, representing about tons of the total annual biomass production through photosynthesis especially in the tropics and is considered to be an almost inexhaustible source of raw material for different products.

Enormous amounts of agricultural, industrial and municipal cellulosic wastes have been accumulating. It has become a topic of considerable economic interests to develop processes for effective treatment and utilization of cellulosic wastes as inexpensive carbon sources. Cellulose provides a key opportunity for achieving tremendous benefits of biomass utilization. Cellulose is commonly degraded by an enzyme called cellulase.

The cellulases have great potential in saccharification of lignocellulosics to fermentable sugars which can used for production of bioethanol, lactic acid, and Single Cell Protein (SCP). Microbial degradation of cellulosic waste and the downstream products resulting from it is accomplished by a concerted action of several enzymes, the most prominent of which are the cellulases, which are produced by a number of microbes and comprise different enzyme classification. Cellulases are bioactive compound which hydrolyze cellulose beta (1,4-D)-glucan linkages and produce as primary products glucose, cellobiose and cello-oligosaccharides.

Fungi are the main cellulase producing microbes though a few bacteria have been also reported to yield cellulase activity. Commercial enzymes are expensive, because they are produced from refined substrates and usually patented organisms. It is therefore imperative that cheaper substrates from local sources for enzyme production be investigated and that bacteria with good enzyme producing capacity be locally isolated.  

Anabell Rose
Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation
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