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Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Isolation, Screening, and Identification of Potential Cellulolytic and Xylanolytic Producers for Biodegradation of Untreated Oil Palm Trunk and Its Application in Saccharification of Lemongrass Leaves

S. K. Ang, Adibah Yahya, Suraini Abd Aziz & Madihah Md Salleh

Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering (FBME) , Universiti Teknologi Malaysia , Skudai , Johor , Malaysia.


This study presents the isolation and screening of fungi with excellent ability to degrade untreated oil palm trunk (OPT) in a solid-state fermentation system (SSF). Qualitative assay of cellulases and xylanase indicates notable secretion of both enzymes by 12 fungal strains from a laboratory collection and 5 strains isolated from a contaminated wooden board. High production of these enzymes was subsequently quantified in OPT in SSF. Aspergillus fumigates SK1 isolated from cow dung gives the highest xylanolytic activity (648.448 U g-1), generally high cellulolytic activities (CMCase: 48.006, FPase: 6.860, beta-glucosidase: 16.328 U g-1) and moderate lignin peroxidase activity (4.820 U/g), and highest xylanolytic activity. The xylanase encoding gene of Aspergillus fumigates SK1 was screened using polymerase chain reaction by a pair of degenerate primers. Through multiple alignment of the SK1 strain's xylanase nucleotide sequences with other published xylanases, it was confirmed that the gene belonged to the xylanase glycoside hydrolase family 11 (GH11) with a protein size of 24.49 kD. Saccharification of lemongrass leaves using crude cellulases and xylanase gives the maximum reducing sugars production of 6.84 g/L with glucose as the major end product and traces of phenylpropanic compounds (vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid).

Keywords: cellulases, oil palm trunk (OPT), phenylpropanic, polyoses, solid-state fermentation, xylanase.

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