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Biotechnol Adv. 1997;15(3-4):583-620.

Cellulose degrading enzymes and their potential industrial applications.

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  • 1Food Macromolecular Science Department, Institute of Food Research Reading Laboratory, Earley Gate, Whiteknights Road, Reading, RG6 6BZ, United Kingdom.


Bioconversion of cellulose to soluble sugars and glucose is catalyzed by a group of enzymes called cellulases. Microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes produce mainly three types of cellulase components--endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanase, exo-1,4-beta-D-glucanase and beta-glucosidase--either separately or in the form of a complex. Over the last several decades, cellulases have become better understood at a fundamental level; nevertheless, much remains to be learnt. The tremendous commercial potential of cellulases in a variety of applications remains the driving force for research in this area. This review summarizes the present state of knowledge on microbial cellulases and their applications.

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