PLoS ONE, 01 January 2018, Vol.13(8), p.e0202695
Fungal strains are abundantly used throughout all areas of biotechnology and many of them are adapted to degrade complex biopolymers like chitin or lignocellulose. We therefore assembled a collection of 295 fungi from nine different habitats in Vietnam, known for its rich biodiversity, and investigated their cellulase, chitinase, xylanase and lipase activity. The collection consists of 70 isolates from wood, 55 from soil, 44 from rice straw, 3 found on fruits, 24 from oil environments (butchery), 12 from hot springs, 47 from insects as well as 27 from shrimp shells and 13 strains from crab shells. These strains were cultivated and selected by growth differences to enrich phenotypes, resulting in 211 visually different fungi. DNA isolation of 183 isolates and phylogenetic analysis was performed and 164 species were identified. All were subjected to enzyme activity assays, yielding high activities for every investigated enzyme set. In general, enzyme activity corresponded with the environment of which the strain was isolated from. Therefore, highest cellulase activity strains were isolated from wood substrates, rice straw and soil and similar substrate effects were observed for chitinase and lipase activity. Xylanase activity was similarly distributed as cellulase activity, but substantial activity was also found from fungi isolated from insects and shrimp shells. Seven strains displayed significant activities against three of the four tested substrates, while three degraded all four investigated carbon sources. The collection will be an important source for further studies. Therefore representative strains were made available to the scientific community and deposited in the public collection of the Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig.
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