Enhanced Biological Straw Saccharification Through Coculturing of Lignocellulose-Degrading Microorganisms

Mohamed Taha, Esmaeil Shahsavari, Khalid Al-Hothaly, Aidyn Mouradov, Andrew T. Smith, Andrew S. Ball, Eric M. Adetutu

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic waste (LCW) is an abundant, low-cost, and inedible substrate for the induction of lignocellulolytic enzymes for cellulosic bioethanol production using an efficient, environmentally friendly, and economical biological approach. In this study, 30 different lignocellulose-degrading bacterial and 18 fungal isolates were quantitatively screened individually for the saccharification of four different ball-milled straw substrates: wheat, rice, sugarcane, and pea straw. Rice and sugarcane straws which had similar Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy profiles were more degradable, and resulted in more hydrolytic enzyme production than wheat and pea straws. Crude enzyme produced on native straws performed better than those on artificial substrates (such as cellulose and xylan). Four fungal and five bacterial isolates were selected (based on their high strawase activities) for constructing dual and triple microbial combinations to investigate microbial synergistic effects on saccharification. Combinations such as FUNG16-FUNG17 (Neosartorya fischeri–Myceliophthora thermophila) and RMIT10-RMIT11 (Aeromonas hydrophila–Pseudomonas poae) enhanced saccharification (3- and 6.6-folds, respectively) compared with their monocultures indicating the beneficial effects of synergism between those isolates. Dual isolate combinations were more efficient at straw saccharification than triple combinations in both bacterial and fungal assays. Overall, co-culturing can result in significant increases in saccharification which may offer significant commercial potential for the use of microbial consortia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3709-3728
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellulolytic–xylanolytic enzymes
  • Lignocellulosic straws
  • Microbial consortia
  • Saccharification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology

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