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Carbohydr Res. 2003 Sep 1;338(18):1823-33.

Enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis of langostino shell chitin with mixtures of enzymes from bacterial and fungal sources.

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Department of Horticultural Sciences, Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456, USA.


A combination of enzyme preparations from Trichoderma atroviride and Serratia marcescens was able to completely degrade high concentrations (100 g/L) of chitin from langostino crab shells to N-acetylglucosamine (78%), glucosamine (2%), and chitobiose (10%). The result was achieved at 32 degrees C in 12 days with no pre-treatment (size reduction or swelling) of the substrate and without removal of the inhibitory end-products from the mixture. Enzymatic degradation of three forms of chitin by Serratia/Trichoderma and Streptomyces/Trichoderma blends was carried out according to a simplex-lattice mixture design. Fitted polynomial models indicated that there was synergy between prokaryotic and fungal enzymes for both hydrolysis of crab chitin and reduction of turbidity of colloidal chitin (primarily endo-type activity). Prokaryotic/fungal enzymes were not synergistic in degrading chitosan. Enzymes from prokaryotic sources had much lower activity against chitosan than enzymes from T. atroviride.

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