Superior cellulolytic activity of Trichoderma guizhouense on raw wheat straw
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Lignocellulosic plant biomass is the world’s most abundant carbon source and has consequently attracted attention as a renewable resource for production of biofuels and commodity chemicals that could replace fossil resources. Due to its recalcitrant nature, it must be pretreated by chemical, physical or biological means prior to hydrolysis, introducing additional costs. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that fungi which thrive on lignocellulosic material (straw, bark or soil) would be efficient in degrading untreated lignocellulose. Wheat straw was used as a model. We developed a fast and simple screening method for cellulase producers and tested one hundred Trichoderma strains isolated from wheat straw. The most potent strain—UB483FTG2/ TUCIM 4455, was isolated from substrate used for mushroom cultivation and was identified as T. guizhouense. After optimization of growth medium, high cellulase activity was already achieved after 72 h of fermentation on raw wheat straw, while the model cellulase overproducing strain T. reesei QM 9414 took 170 h and reached only 45% of the cellulase activity secreted by T. guizhouense. Maximum production levels were 1.1 U/mL (measured with CMC as cellulase substrate) and 0.7 U/mL (β-glucosidase assay). The T. guizhouense cellulase cocktail hydrolyzed raw wheat straw within 35 h. Our study shows that screening for fungi that successfully compete for special substrates in nature will lead to the isolation of strains with qualitatively and quantitatively superior enzymes needed for their digestion which could be used for industrial purposes.
KeywordsCellulases Cellulase enzyme complex Wheat straw Trichoderma Trichoderma guizhouense Trichoderma reesei
This study was supported by a grant from the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (Project Grant Number OI172048). The work in TU Wien was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Project Number P 25613 B20 to ISD. We thank Dr. Komal Chenthamara for help with in situ data analysis. We thank Jasna Bojčevski for English correction.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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