Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 40, Issue 9–10, pp 1377–1387 | Cite as

Characterization of an inhibitor-resistant endo-1,4-β-mannanase from the gut microflora metagenome of Hermetia illucens

  • Jaeeun Song
  • Su-Yeon Kim
  • Dae-Hyuk Kim
  • Young-Seok Lee
  • Joon-Soo Sim
  • Bum-Soo Hahn
  • Chang-Muk LeeEmail author
Original Research Paper



Hermetia illucens is a voracious insect scavenger that efficiently decomposes food waste. To exploit novel hydrolytic enzymes from this insect, we constructed a fosmid metagenome library using unculturable H. illucens intestinal microorganisms.


Functional screening of the library on carboxymethyl cellulose plates identified a fosmid clone with a product displaying hydrolytic activity. Fosmid sequence analysis revealed a novel mannan-degrading gene (ManEM17) composed of 1371 base pairs, encoding 456 amino acids with a deduced 54 amino acid N-terminal signal peptide sequence. Conceptual translation and domain analysis revealed that sequence homology was highest (46%) with endo-1,4-β-mannosidase of Anaerophaga thermohalophila. Phylogenetic and domain analysis indicated that ManEM17 belongs to a novel β-mannanase containing a glycoside hydrolase family 26 domain. The recombinant protein (rManEM17) was expressed in Escherichia coli, exhibiting the highest activity at 55 °C and pH 6.5. The protein hydrolyzed substrates with β-1,4-glycosidic mannoses; maximum specific activity (5467 U mg−1) occurred toward locust bean gum galactomannan. However, rManEM17 did not hydrolyze p-Nitrophenyl-β-pyranosides, demonstrating endo-form mannanase activity. Furthermore, rManEM17 was highly stable under stringent conditions, including polar organic solvents as well as chemical reducing and denaturing reagents.


ManEM17 is an attractive candidate for mannan degradation under the high-organic-solvent and protein-denaturing processes in food and feed industries.


Hermetia illucens Inhibitor resistance Larvae gut Mannanase Metagenome 



This work was supported by Grants from the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ01045703 and PJ01086901).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Metabolic Engineering DivisionNational Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development AdministrationJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology, Institute for Molecular Biology and GeneticsChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuRepublic of Korea

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