Summary: The depolymerase activity of cell-free extracts of nine species of rumen ciliate protozoa and two mixed protozoal preparations, grown and , towards polygalacturonic acid was examined. The highest activity was found with and while there was none in the spined or spineless forms of and little in On the basis of the rapid drop in viscosity, inhibition by EDTA and the production of u.v.-absorbing material, the enzymes from all active species were designated as endopectate lyases (EC although some polygalacturonase may be present. Neither pectin nor polygalacturonic acid supported the survival or growth of any of the protozoal species tested.


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