Spirochetes capable of degrading xylan or cellulose have not been commonly isolated, nor have their polysaccharolytic activities been characterized.Spirochaeta thermophila strain RI 19.B1 is xylanolytic and grows well at 65°C with oatspelt (OX), birchwood (BX), corncob (CCX-A) xylans, or glucuronoxylan (MGX) as the energy source. All xylans were extensively degraded and utilized during growth. About 72–82% of the initial hexuronic acids and 57–79% of initial pentoses disappeared during growth.S. thermophila possessed xylanase, xylosidase, and arabinofuranosidase enzyme activities. Low levels of these activities were detected with growth on glucose, but high expression of these activities occurred during growth on OX. All three activities were cell-associated and were more stable in cells than cell extracts. Xylan-degrading activities were measured with cells or cell extracts exposed (60 min) to a variety of temperatures (65°–85°C) and pHs (5.0–8.0). More than 50% loss of activities occurred at temperatures above 75°C. Although pH stability was affected by buffer, the optimal range was pH 6.5–7.5. These temperature and pH profiles for xylan-degrading activities coincide with those found for the growth ofS. thermophila.
KeywordsGlucose Enzyme Cellulose Enzyme Activity High Expression
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