Chitinase activity was measured in extracts of mycelial cells of as a function of the culture age. There was a peak of specific activity at the mid-exponential phase of growth (10 h), which paralleled chitin synthase activity. An additional peak of chitinase with higher specific activity was detected in 4 h cultures, which coincided with the onset of germination. Purification of chitinase activities from the cytoplasm revealed two enzymes, I and II, with different molecular mass and ionic charge. Antibodies induced with chitinase I did not cross-react with chitnase II. Both enzymes digested nascent chitin preferentially over preformed chitin, yielding diacetylchitobiose as the sole product of hydrolysis.


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