1887

Abstract

SUMMARY: A study has been made of the degradation of different forms of cellulose (‘eellulolysis’), comprising soluble substituted derivatives (carboxymethyl-cellulose), insoluble cellulose powder, swollen cellulose, hydrocellulose and native cotton fibres, by concentrated suspensions of mixed rumen micro-organisms and by the aerobic fungus . Mixed rumen micro-organisms are shown to be one of the most powerful sources of cellulolytic enzyme, in that they produce almost complete solubilization of all the above forms of cellulose in a relatively short period (3 days). Enrichment cultures of rumen micro-organisms were prepared by growing concentrates of mixed micro-organisms on cellulose powder. Cellulolysis was followed by determining the cellulose disappearance, formation of cellulolytic activity and gas evolution. Freeze-dried powders and their derived acetone powders obtained from washed concentrated supensions (non-enrichment cultures) of mixed rumen micro-organisms solubilized up to 80% of insoluble cellulose powder. Cell-free extracts were isolated: () from concentrated suspensions and from freeze-dried powders of rumen micro-organisms by extraction with butanol; () from concentrated suspensions of enrichment cultures by grinding with alumina at low temperature. The butanol extracts solubilized cellulose powder to a small extent (10% solubilization) and were more effective against the soluble carboxymethyl-cellulose. In contrast, the alumina extracts were more active against insoluble cellulose (30% solubilization) but were only weakly active against carboxymethyl-cellulose. Cell-free filtrates from , an aerobic fungus much used in work on cellulose metabolism, were shown to possess cellulolytic properties very similar to those of alumina extracts from enrichment cultures of rumen micro-organisms. The significance of the results is discussed in relation to the mode of breakdown of cellulose.

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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/00221287-17-1-166
1957-08-01
2022-06-29
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