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Biotechnol Adv. 1997;15(2):315-31.

The glucanases of Cellulomonas.

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Molecular Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Poona, Pune-411 007, India.


Cellulomonas is a unique bacterium possessing not only the capacity to degrade various carbohydrates, such as starch, xylan and cellulose, but crystalline cellulose as well. It has developed a complex battery of glucanases to deal with substrates possessing such extensive microheterogeneities. Some of these enzymes are multifunctional, as well as cross inducible, possessing a multi-domain structure; these enzymes are thought to have arisen by the shuffling of these domains. Intergeneric hybrids have been constructed between Cellulomonas and Zymomonas so as to enhance the industrial potential of this organism. This review examines the unique features of this microorganism and evaluates its key role in the conversion of complex wastes to useful products, by virtue of its unusual attributes.


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