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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2002;22(1):33-64.

Biotechnology of microbial xylanases: enzymology, molecular biology, and application.

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Biochemical Processing Division, Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Trivandrum, India.


Xylanases are hydrolases depolymerizing the plant cell wall component xylan, the second most abundant polysaccharide. The molecular structure and hydrolytic pattern of xylanases have been reported extensively and the mechanism of hydrolysis has also been proposed. There are several models for the gene regulation of which this article could add to the wealth of knowledge. Future work on the application of these enzymes in the paper and pulp, food industry, in environmental science, that is, bio-fueling, effluent treatment, and agro-waste treatment, etc. require a complete understanding of the functional and genetic significance of the xylanases. However, the thrust area has been identified as the paper and pulp industry. The major problem in the field of paper bleaching is the removal of lignin and its derivatives, which are linked to cellulose and xylan. Xylanases are more suitable in the paper and pulp industry than lignin-degrading systems.

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