SUMMARY: The optimal conditions for accurate and reproducible analysis of cellulose hydrolysis by micro-organisms, particularly from the rumen, were determined. Rumen micro-organisms were found to require approximately 50 mg. substrate (cellulose powder) in a 40 hr. incubation at 37° with 1 ml. of rumen liquor, and a total volume of 8 ml., in static vessels. All types of cellulose or simpler substituted derivatives, from soluble carboxymethylcellulose through insoluble cellulose powder to cotton fibres, are nearly quantitatively hydrolysed by mixed rumen micro-organisms. The effect of the inorganic composition of the medium, of antibacterial agents (thymol, fluoride, toluene) and of concentration procedures on the cellulolytic activity of rumen micro-organisms was examined. Rumen protozoa appear to play a minor role in cellulose degradation; their effective activity is due mainly to closely associated, possibly ingested, bacteria. The validity of the results obtained by various methods of ‘cellulase’ assay is discussed.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error