RW 1 and RW 3, isolated from the hind-gut of the termite , both grew well on mesquite wood and produced moderate amounts of carboxymethylcellulase. Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gels were depolymerized rapidly by RW 1 and slowly by RW 3. The depolymerization of CMC was pH and temperature sensitive. Depolymerization of gels by growing cultures of RW 1 and the action of cell-free extracts of cereus RW 1 on CMC sols were optimum at pH 6.0 and 5.5, respectively. Glucose and cellobiose increased the rate of CMC gel depolymerization. Enzyme synthesis rather than growth was stimulated by the addition of glucose to a culture of RW 1 growing on a non-cellulosic substrate. RW 1 produced both cell-free and cell-bound carboxymethylcellulase.


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