The fungus Aspergillus saccharolyticus was found to produce a culture broth rich in beta-glucosidase activity, an enzyme which plays an essential role for efficient and complete hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Direct application of fungal fermentation broths produced on-site in a biorefinery may be an integral part of a biorefinery for lowering the cost associated with the use of commercial enzymes for saccharification of biomass. Utilization of low value slip streams from the biorefinery as substrates for such an on-site enzyme production would be ideal to reduce costs. In order to understand which carbon sources that support growth and trigger A.saccharolyticus to produce beta-glucosidases, carbon sources, ranging from monomer sugars to complex lignocellulosic biomasses, including pretreated and hydrolyzed corn stover fractions, were investigated as substrates and inducers of enzyme production. A convenient micro titer plate experimental setup was developed that facilitated a fast screening for beta-glucosidase activity on the different carbon sources. The greatest beta-glucosidase activity was found when A.saccharolyticus was cultivated on media containing xylose, xylan, wheat bran, and pretreated corn stover. In a refinery, beta-glucosidase production by A.saccharolyticus could with success be based on the biomass hemicelluloses and their degradation products which cannot be converted by conventional yeast.
- Aspergillus saccharolyticus
- Carbon sources