Send to

Choose Destination
Extremophiles. 2003 Oct;7(5):415-21. Epub 2003 Jul 5.

Detecting cellulase and esterase enzyme activities encoded by novel genes present in environmental DNA libraries.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 9HN, UK.


A genomic DNA library was made from the alkaliphilic cellulase-producing Bacillus agaradhaerans in order to prove our technologies for gene isolation prior to using them with samples of DNA isolated directly from environmental samples. Clones expressing a cellulase activity were identified and sequenced. A new cellulase gene was identified. Genomic DNA libraries were then made from DNA isolated directly from the Kenyan soda lakes, Lake Elmenteita and Crater Lake. Crater Lake clones expressing a cellulase activity and Lake Elmenteita clones expressing a lipase/esterase activity were identified and sequenced. These were encoded by novel genes as judged by DNA sequence comparisons. Genomic DNA libraries were also made from laboratory enrichment cultures of Lake Nakuru and Lake Elmenteita samples. Selective enrichment cultures were grown in the presence of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and olive oil. A number of new cellulase and lipase/esterase genes were discovered in these libraries. Cellulase-positive clones from Lake Nakuru were isolated at a frequency of 1 in 15,000 from a library made from a CMC enrichment as compared to 1 in 60,000 from a minimal medium enrichment. Esterase/lipase-positive clones from Lake Elmenteita were isolated with a frequency of 1 in 30,000 from a library made from an olive-oil enrichment as compared to 1 in 100,000 from an environmental library.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center