Enhanced Cellulase Production for Improved Degradation of Maize Cob: A Mixed-Fungal Fermentation


  • Abbas Olagunju Department of biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
  • Elewechi Onyike
  • Danladi A. Ameh
  • Sunday E. Atawodi
  • Aliyu Salihu


Cellulases are considered the most prominent of enzymes involved in the microbial breakdown of lignocellulosic waste. This study was designed to investigate the effect of various fermentation conditions on cellulase enzyme production in maize cobs from single and mixed fungal cultures as an index of good degradation and digestibility. Maize cobs were prepared and alkaline pretreated. Single and mixed-culture solid state fermentations with four degrading fungal species Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma reesei, Lachnocladium flavidum and Lenzites betulina were carried out and process parameters of incubation time, moisture content, inoculum concentration, pH, carbon source and nitrogen source were optimized from 10 groups of independent and mixed combinations of the fungi. Results indicated that A. niger and a co-culture of T. reesei/ L. flavidum were found to be most effective cellulase producers, with optimal conditions of: pH 3 - 7, moisture 70 - 75%, incubation period of 10 days, culture concentration of 5.5 x 103 spores/ ml. 1% glucose and peptone among several carbon and nitrogen supplements respectively supported optimal activities. Cellulose content was reduced by all the fermenting organisms to different degrees, however mixed culture of T. reesei and A. niger had the most significant reduction in cellulose (73.3 %). Optimal degradation of maize cob using mixed fungal cultures can be exploited for better utilization and improvement of nutritive value.


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How to Cite

Olagunju, A., Onyike, E. ., Ameh, D. A. ., Atawodi, S. E. ., & Salihu, A. . (2022). Enhanced Cellulase Production for Improved Degradation of Maize Cob: A Mixed-Fungal Fermentation. Nigerian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 37(3), 201–211. Retrieved from https://www.nsbmb.org.ng/journals/index.php/njbmb/article/view/119



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