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Biotechnological applications of bacterial cellulases

1 Department of Microbiology and Genetics, Universidad de Salamanca, 37007, Salamanca, Spain;
2 Institute of Microbiology ASCR, Laboratory of Fungal Genetics and Metabolism, Prague. Czech Republic;
3 Associated I+D Unit USAL-CSIC (IRNASA-CSIC), Salamanca, Spain

Special Issues: Microbial biotechnology

Cellulases have numerous applications in several industries, including biofuel production, food and feed industry, brewing, pulp and paper, textile, laundry, and agriculture.Cellulose-degrading bacteria are widely spread in nature, being isolated from quite different environments. Cellulose degradation is the result of a synergic process between an endoglucanase, an exoglucanase and a,β-glucosidase. Bacterial endoglucanases degrade ß-1,4-glucan linkages of cellulose amorphous zones, meanwhile exoglucanases cleave the remaining oligosaccharide chains, originating cellobiose, which is hydrolyzed by ß-glucanases. Bacterial cellulases (EC 3.2.1.4) are comprised in fourteen Glycosil Hydrolase families. Several advantages, such as higher growth rates and genetic versatility, emphasize the suitability and advantages of bacterial cellulases over other sources for this group of enzymes. This review summarizes the main known cellulolytic bacteria and the best strategies to optimize their cellulase production, focusing on endoglucanases, as well as it reviews the main biotechnological applications of bacterial cellulases in several industries, medicine and agriculture.
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