Aspergillus enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides

R.P. de Vries, J. Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

677 Citations (Scopus)


Degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides is of major importance in the food and feed, beverage, textile, and paper and pulp industries, as well as in several other industrial production processes. Enzymatic degradation of these polymers has received attention for many years and is becoming a more and more attractive alternative to chemical and mechanical processes. Over the past 15 years, much progress has been made in elucidating the structural characteristics of these polysaccharides and in characterizing the enzymes involved in their degradation and the genes of biotechnologically relevant microorganisms encoding these enzymes. The members of the fungal genus Aspergillus are commonly used for the production of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes. This genus produces a wide spectrum of cell wall-degrading enzymes, allowing not only complete degradation of the polysaccharides but also tailored modifications by using specific enzymes purified from these fungi. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the cell wall polysaccharide-degrading enzymes from aspergilli and the genes by which they are encoded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-522
JournalMicrobiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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