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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2000 Oct;54(4):570-4.

Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 ferments ball-milled cellulose as fast as cellobiose until cellulose surface area is limiting.

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Section of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 grew rapidly on cellobiose (0.31 h(-1) and the absolute rate of increase in fermentation acids was 0.68 h(-1). Cultures that were provided with ball-milled cellulose initially produced fermentation acids and microbial protein as fast as those provided with cellobiose, but the absolute cellulose digestion rate eventually declined. If the inoculum size was increased, the kinetics decayed from first to zero order (with respect to cells) even sooner, but in each case the absolute rate declined after only 20 to 30% of the cellulose had been fermented. Congo red binding indicated that the cellulose surface area of individual cellulose particles was not decreasing, and the transition of ball-milled cellulose digestion corresponded with the appearance of unbound cells in the culture supernatant. When bound cells from partially digested cellulose were removed and the cellulose was re-incubated with a fresh inoculum, the initial absolute fermentation rate was as high as the one observed for undigested cellulose and cellobiose. Based on these results, cellulose digestion by F. succinogenes S85 appears to be constrained by cellulose surface area rather than cellulase activity per se.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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