Filamentous fungi are a good source of hemicellulolytic enzymes for biomass degradation. Enzyme preparations were obtained as culture supernatants from 78 fungal isolates grown on wheat straw as carbon source. These enzyme preparations were utilized in the hydrolysis of insoluble wheat straw and corn fiber xylan rich fractions. Up to 14% of the carbohydrates in wheat straw and 34% of those in corn fiber were hydrolyzed. The degree of hydrolysis by the enzymes depended on the origin of the fungal isolate and on the complexity of the substrate to be degraded. Penicillium, Trichoderma or Aspergillus species, and some non-identified fungi proved to be the best producers of hemicellulolytic enzymes for degradation of xylan rich materials. This study proves that the choice for an enzyme preparation to efficiently degrade a natural xylan rich substrate, is dependent on the xylan characteristics and could not be estimated by using model substrates.
- xylan-degrading enzymes