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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382

Abstract

SHARMA, Nivedita; KAUSHAL, Richa; GUPTA, Rakesh  and  KUMAR, Sanjeev. A biodegradation study of forest biomass by Aspergillus niger F7: correlation between enzymatic activity, hydrolytic percentage and biodegradation index. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2012, vol.43, n.2, pp. 467-475. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822012000200006.

Aspergillus niger F7 isolated from soil was found to be the potent producer of cellulase and xylanase. The residue of forest species Toona ciliata, Celtris australis, Cedrus deodara and Pinus roxburghii was selected as substrate for biodegradation study due to its easy availability and wide use in industry. It was subjected to alkali (sodium hydroxide) treatment for enhancing its degradation. Biodegradation of forest waste by hydrolytic enzymes (cellulase and xylanase) secreted by A. niger under solid state fermentation (SSF) was explored. SSF of pretreated forest biomass was found to be superior over untreated forest biomass. Highest extracellular enzyme activity of 2201±23.91 U/g by A. niger was shown in pretreated C. australis wood resulting in 6.72±0.20 percent hydrolysis and 6.99±0.23 biodegradation index (BI). The lowest BI of 1.40±0.08 was observed in untreated saw dust of C. deodara having the least enzyme activity of 238±1.36 U/g of dry matter. Biodegradation of forest biomass under SSF was increased many folds when moistening agent i.e. tap water had been replaced with modified basal salt media (BSM). In BSM mediated degradation of forest waste with A. niger, extracellular enzyme activity was increased up to 4089±67.11 U/g of dry matter in turn resulting in higher BI of 15.4±0.41 and percent hydrolysis of 19.38±0.81 in pretreated C. australis wood. A. niger exhibited higher enzyme activity on pretreated biomass when moistened with modified BSM in this study. Statistically a positive correlation has been drawn between these three factors i.e. enzyme activity, BI and percent hydrolysis of forest biomass thus proving their direct relationship with each other.

Keywords : Aspergillus niger; SSF; enzyme activity; percent hydrolysis; biodegradation index.

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