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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2002 Dec;25(4):584-91.

Cellulose-degrading potentials and phylogenetic classification of carboxymethyl-cellulose decomposing bacteria isolated from soil.

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  • 1ZALF-Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research, Institute of Primary Production and Microbial Ecology, M√ľncheberg, Germany.


In a previous study, culturable carboxymethyl-cellulose (CMC) decomposing soil bacteria isolated from different sampling positions across an agricultural encatchment have been classified into 31 pattern groups by digestion of amplified 16S rDNA using a single restriction enzyme (Ulrich and Wirth: Microb. Ecol. 37, 238-247, 1999). In order to reveal relationships between phylogenetic diversity and phenotypic functions, a further differentiation of two selected site-specific pattern groups (I and H) was performed, resulting in a sub-classification of four and three ARDRA groups, respectively. Based on sequencing a representative isolate of each ARDRA group, the isolates were assigned to the genus Streptomyces. The ARDRA groups were dispersed across various clades of the genus with a direct affiliation to species known for cellulolytic activity in one group, only. The isolates differed in potentials to degrade colloidal, native or highly crystalline cellulose derivatives. Out of 39 isolates, 11 were capable of degrading all substrates, 17 were restricted to degrade CMC only, and 11 were active decomposers of exclusively both CMC and colloidal cellulose. In most cases, the genetic classification of the isolates corresponded with groupings based on cellulose degrading capabilities. Thus, isolates of four ARDRA groups were restricted to the degradation of CMC, while two further isolates which efficiently degraded all cellulose derivatives formed two separate ARDRA groups. The major ARDRA group, however; displayed a high variability of degradation capabilities. The study of additional phenotypic features revealed a broad potential to decompose a set of various carbon substrates, which matched the phylogenetic classification in several cases.

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