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Applied and Environmental Microbiology


Thayer School of Engineering


Nine thermophilic cellulolytic clostridial isolates and four other noncellulolytic bacterial isolates were isolated from self-heated biocompost via preliminary enrichment culture on microcrystalline cellulose. All cellulolytic isolates grew vigorously on cellulose, with the formation of either ethanol and acetate or acetate and formate as principal fermentation products as well as lactate and glycerol as minor products. In addition, two out of nine cellulolytic strains were able to utilize xylan and pretreated wood with roughly the same efficiency as for cellulose. The major products of xylan fermentation were acetate and formate, with minor contributions of lactate and ethanol. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA and glycosyl hydrolase family 48 (GH48) gene sequences revealed that two xylan-utilizing isolates were related to a Clostridium clariflavum strain and represent a distinct novel branch within the GH48 family. Both isolates possessed high cellulase and xylanase activity induced independently by either cellulose or xylan. Enzymatic activity decayed after growth cessation, with more-rapid disappearance of cellulase activity than of xylanase activity. A mixture of xylan and cellulose was utilized simultaneously, with a significant synergistic effect observed as a reduction of lag phase in cellulose degradation.



Original Citation

Sizova MV, Izquierdo JA, Panikov NS, Lynd LR. Cellulose- and xylan-degrading thermophilic anaerobic bacteria from biocompost. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Apr;77(7):2282-91. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01219-10. Epub 2011 Feb 11. PMID: 21317267; PMCID: PMC3067422.