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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405

Abstract

MOLINA, Silvia M.G.; PELISSARI, Francisco A.  and  VITORELLO, Cláudia B.M.. Screening and genetic improvement of pectinolytic fungi for degumming of textile fibers. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2001, vol.32, n.4, pp.320-326. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822001000400013.

Aiming at contributing to technological improvements in plant fiber processing methods, this paper reports research work on the obtainment of more efficient pectinase-producing fungi strains. More specifically, this work reports the analysis of 18 strains of filamentous fungi, with the purpose of obtaining enzymes for textile fibers degumming. The strains were evaluated for production of pectinolytic enzymes under several growth conditions (culture medium and growth temperature). Production of pectinases was measured by an enzymatic index (EI) in solid pectin medium. Among the tested strains, Penicillium chrysogenum IFO 4626 (Q 176) showed the best performance. Genetic improvement of this strain was carried out to increase its pectinase production, while keeping cellulase activity down to a negligible level, since cellulases are known to decrease the resistance of the fiber. Variability was induced through several cycles of mutation and selection by exposing conidea to ultra-violet light (UV). We selected 39 out of 390 isolated colonies. Resulting mutants produced nine times more pectin lyase (PL) than the original strain in terms of PL specific activity, and five times more in terms of PL activity (i.e. mmoles liberated per minute of reaction per mL of medium). Periodically, mutant performance was evaluated in solid pectin medium. Genetic stability was maintained for four years after isolation.

Keywords : Penicillium chrysogenum; pectin lyase; pectinolytic enzyme; degumming of textile fibers.

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