Isolation of an anaerobic cellulolytic mixed culture

  • D. G. Brandon
Industrial Microbiology


Isolation and enrichment cultures were made for anaerobic cellulose utilizing micro-organisms from non-ruminant sources. Stable mixed cultures were developed which degraded pure cellulose (wet-milled filter paper) in a defined mineral salts medium. Components of the mixed cultures lost viability in monoculture when grown on cellulose. Growth on cellulose was stimulated at low oxygen concentrations, when increased cellulase activity and increased volatile fatty acid production occurred.

Low concentrations (0.1–3 mM) of cellobiose, and to a lesser extent, glucose stimulated solubilization of cellulose by the cultures, but higher concentrations had an inhibitory effect.

Growth on cellulose was accompanied by production of acetic, propionic and butyric acids. The production and profile of the acids was stable and characteristic of the culture. When an ‘open’ nonaseptic fermentation was employed, the fatty acid profile was variable and also included valeric acid.


Cellulose Fermentation Cellulase Cellobiose Mixed Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ballentine R (1957) Determination of total nitrogen and ammonia. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds) Methods in enzymology III. Academic Press, New York, pp 984–995Google Scholar
  2. Bengt V, Hofsten BB, Beskow S (1971) Arch Microbiol 79:69–79Google Scholar
  3. Breuil C, Kushner DJ (1976) Can J Microbiol 22:1776–1781Google Scholar
  4. Enari TM, Markkanen P (1977) Adv Biochem Eng 5:25–48Google Scholar
  5. Enebo L (1949) Nature 163:805Google Scholar
  6. Fell BF, Kay M, Whitelaw FG, Boyne R (1968) Res Vet Sci 9:458–466Google Scholar
  7. Ghose TK (1977) Adv Biochem Eng 6:39–76Google Scholar
  8. Halliwell G, Griffin M (1973) Biochem J 135:587–594Google Scholar
  9. Hofsten V, Berg B, Beskow S (1971) Arch Microbiol 79:69–79Google Scholar
  10. Humphrey AE, Aviniger WA, Lee E, Moreira A (1976) Fifth International Fermentation Symposium BerlinGoogle Scholar
  11. Hungate RE, Bryant MP, Mah RA (1964) Annu Rev Microbiol 18:131–166Google Scholar
  12. Hungate RE (1975) Annu Rev Ecol Syst 6:39–67Google Scholar
  13. Mandels M, Weber J (1969) Adv Chem Ser 95:391–414Google Scholar
  14. Mann SO (1968) J Appl Bacteriol 31:241–244Google Scholar
  15. Packett LV, McCune RW (1965) Appl Microbiol 13:22–27Google Scholar
  16. Prins RA, Vugt F van, Hungate RE, Vorstenbosch CJAHV van (1972) Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; Microbiol Serol 38:153–161Google Scholar
  17. Reese ET, Siu RGH, Levinson HS (1950) J Bacteriol 59:485–491Google Scholar
  18. Svinivason VR (1975) In Symposium on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. Aulanko, Finland, SITRA, Helsinki, pp 393–405Google Scholar
  19. Summer JB (1925) J Biol Chem 65:393–395Google Scholar
  20. Toerein DF, Siebert ML, Hattingh WHJ (1967) Water Res 1:497–507Google Scholar
  21. Toerein DF, Hattingh WHJ (1969) Water Res 3:385–416Google Scholar
  22. Whistler RL, Smart CL (1952) Polysaccharide chemistry. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Wilke CR (1975) Cellulose as a chemical and energy resource. Symposium No. 5. Biotechnol Bioeng. Wiley-Interscience, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Weiner PJ, Zeikus JG (1977) Appl Environ Microbiol 33:289–297Google Scholar
  25. Wood TM (1968) Biochem J 109:217–227Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Brandon
    • 1
  1. 1.Shell Biosciences Laboratory, Stittingbourne Research CentreShell Research Ltd.SittingbourneUK

Personalised recommendations