, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 385–390

Mode of action and antifungal properties of two cold-adapted chitinases

  • Konstantinos Mavromatis
  • Matteo Lorito
  • Sheridan L. Woo
  • Vassilis Bouriotis
Original Paper


The mode of action of two chitinases from the Antarctic Arthrobacter sp. strain TAD20 on N-acetyl-chitooligomers and chitin polymers has been elucidated. Identification of the length of chitin oligomers following enzymatic hydrolysis was verified by using HPLC-based analysis. It was observed that the length of the oligomer is important for enzyme action. The enzymes cannot effectively hydrolyze chitin oligomers with a degree of polymerization lower than four. ArChiA is an endochitinase which hydrolyzes chitin substrates randomly, whereas ArChiB is an exochitinase which degrades chitin chains and N-acetyl-chitooligomers from the nonreducing end, releasing N-N′-diacetyl-chitobiose. ArChiB (100 μg/ml) inhibited spore germination and hyphal elongation of the phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea by 15% and 30%, respectively. A more pronounced effect was observed with ArChiA (100 μg/ml) resulting in 70% inhibition of spore germination and 60% inhibition of germ tube elongation. A slight additive effect was observed, when the two enzymes were used in combination, only on the inhibition of germ tube elongation.


Anomer separation Botrytis cinerea Chitinase Chitooligomers Endochitinase Exochitinase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos Mavromatis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matteo Lorito
    • 3
  • Sheridan L. Woo
    • 3
  • Vassilis Bouriotis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Division of Applied Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Enzyme Technology DivisionInstitute of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyHeraklionGreece
  3. 3.Dipartmento di Arboricoltura, Botanica e Patologia Vegetale, Sezione Patologia VegetaleUniversita degli Studi di Napoli Federico IIPorticiItaly

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