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Hydrolytic enzyme production from açai palm (Euterpe precatoria) endophytic fungi and characterization of the amylolytic and cellulolytic extracts.

Hydrolase Endophytes Penicillium Colletotrichum Amylase Cellulase

Author (s)

Bárbara Nunes Batista, Rosiane Rodrigues Matias, Rafael Lopes e Oliveira & Patrícia Melchionna Albuquerque

Enzymes are biocatalysts that are widely used in different industries and generate billions of dollars annually. With the advancement of biotechnology, new enzymatic sources are being evaluated, especially microbial ones, in order to find efficient producers. Endophytic fungi are promising sources of biomolecules; however, Amazonian species are still poorly studied as to their enzymatic production potential. In this sense, the production of hydrolases (amylases, lipases, cellulases and pectinases) was evaluated in endophytic fungi isolated from the leaves, roots and stems of açai palms (Euterpe precatoria). A qualitative test was carried out to detect the enzymatic synthesis in each isolate, and the most promising ones were cultivated using submerged fermentation. The enzyme extracts were quantified to determine those with the greatest activity. Cellulolytic and amylolytic extracts showed the highest enzymatic activities and were partially characterized. Among 50 isolates, 82.9% produced pectinase, 58.5% produced cellulase, 31.7% produced amylase, and 12.2% produced lipase. Penicillium sp. L3 was the best producer of amylase and Colletotrichum sp. S1 was the best producer of cellulase in liquid medium cultivation. The amylolytic extract showed the highest enzymatic activity at pH 8.0 and 45 °C, and the cellulolytic extract at pH 5.0 and 35 °C. The cellulase and amylase produced by the endophytes had their molecular masses estimated between 38 and 76 kDa. These results indicate that endophytic fungi from the açai palm can be used as a new source of hydrolytic enzymes, which can be applied in numerous biotechnological processes.

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