Differential Mode of Chitinase Hydrolysis of Chitin and Chitan

  • Richard A. Smucker
  • Carl E. Warnes


The structural biopolymer chitin (generally defined as a homopolymer of β-1–4 linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine) has recently gained a wider audience do to academic and industrial interests in seeking applications of shell fisheries wastes for medical, water purification and agricultural uses (Muzzarelli, 1977; Mien and Rodriguez-Kabana,1982; Cabib, 1987). Depolymerases have a central role in each of these studies, whether from the perspective of product preservation or from the point of view of targeted enzymatic attack. Berger and Reynolds (1958) described the chitinase of Streptomyces griseus as an endolytic chitinase having the definitive property of releasing the disaccharide N,N’-diacetylchitobiose (chitobiose) as the ultimate end product. Chitobiase then hydrolyzes one mole of chitobiose producing two moles of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Chitinase Activity Colloidal Chitin Streptomyces Griseus Chitinase Production 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Smucker
    • 1
  • Carl E. Warnes
    • 2
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine StudiesThe University of Maryland SystemSolomonsUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyBall State UniversityMuncieUSA

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