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Evaluation of Selected White-Rot Fungal Isolates for Improving the Sugar Yield from Wheat Straw

Cianchetta, Stefano, Di Maggio, Barbara, Burzi, Pier Luigi, Galletti, Stefania
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2014 v.173 no.2 pp. 609-623
Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, absorbance, biomass, cellulose, digestibility, enzymatic hydrolysis, fungi, hemicellulose, metabolism, sugars, wheat straw
Biological pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass by fungi can represent a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative to physicochemical methods to facilitate enzymatic hydrolysis. However, fungal metabolism can cause cellulose loss and it is therefore necessary to use the appropriate fungal strain-biomass type combination. In this work, the effects of biological pretreatments carried out by five different fungi on enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw were investigated. The best results were obtained with a Ceriporiopsis subvermispora strain, which minimized weight and cellulose losses and gave the highest net sugar yield (calculated with respect to the holocellulose content of the untreated straw), up to 44 % after a 10-week pretreatment, more than doubling the yields obtained with the other isolates. Moreover, prolonging the pretreatment from 4 up to 10 weeks produced a 2-fold increase, up to 60 %, in digestibility (sugar yield, calculated considering the holocellulose content of the pretreated material). The hemicellulose content of the pretreated material resulted inversely correlated with digestibility, and it could thus be utilized as an index of the pretreatment efficacy. Finally, a correlation was also found between digestibility and the difference between the absorbance values at 290 and 320 nm of pretreated wheat straw extracts.