Isolation of cellulolytic anaerobic extreme thermophiles from New Zealand thermal sites

Avicel enrichment cultures from 47 thermal-pool sites in the New Zealand Rotorua-Taupo region were screened for growth and carboxymethyl cellulase activity at 75°C. Eight anaerobic cellulolytic cultures were obtained. The effect of temperature on carboxymethyl cellulase activity was measured, and bacteria were isolated from the five best cultures. Bacteria from two sources designated TP8 and TP10 grew at 75°C, accumulated reducing sugar in the growth medium and gave free cellulases with avicelase activity. Bacteria from sources designated Tok4, Tok8, and Wai21 grew at 75°C, accumulated no free sugars in the medium, and gave free carboxymethyl cellulases with virtually no avicelase activity. All were obligate anaerobic nonsporeforming rods which stained gram negative, grew on pentoses as well as hexoses, and gave ethanol and acetate as major fermentation end products. The isolated strain which produced the most active and stable cellulases (trivially designated TP8.T) had lower rates of free endocellulase accumulation at 75°C than did Clostridium thermocellum at 60°C, but its cellulase activity against avicel and filter paper in culture supernatants was comparable. Tested at 85°C, TP8.T carboxymethyl cellulases included components which were very stable, whereas C. thermocellum carboxymethyl cellulases were all rapidly inactivated. The TP8.T avicelase activity was relatively unaffected by Triton X-100, EDTA, and dithiothreitol. Evidence was obtained for the existence of unisolated, cellulolytic extreme thermophiles producing cellulases which were more stable and active than those from TP8.T.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Sissons, C.H., Sharrock, K.R., Daniel, R.M. & Morgan, H.W. (1987). Isolation of cellulolytic anaerobic extreme thermophiles from New Zealand thermal sites. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 53(4), 832-838.
American Society for Microbiology