Summary: Anaerobic fungi were isolated from rumen fluid of a domestic sheep (; a ruminant) and from faeces of five non-ruminants: African elephant (), black rhinoceros (), Indian rhinoceros (), Indian elephant () and mara (). The anaerobic fungus isolated from the sheep was a species and the isolates from non-ruminants were all species similar to spp. A defined medium is described which supported growth of all the isolates, and was used to examine growth characteristics of the different strains. For each fungus the lipid phosphate content was determined after growth on cellobiose and the resulting values were used to estimate fungal biomass after growth on solid substrates. The ability of isolates from ruminants and non-ruminants to digest both wheat straw and cellulose was comparable. More than 90% and 60%, respectively, of filter paper cellulose and wheat straw were digested by most strains within 60-78 h. Growth of two fungi, isolated from rumen fluid of a sheep ( strain N1) and from faeces of an Indian rhinoceros ( strain R1), on cellobiose was studied in detail. Fungal growth yields on cellobiose were 64.1 g (mol substrate) for N1 and 34.2 g mol for R1. The major fermentation products of both strains were formate, lactate, acetate, ethanol and hydrogen.


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