Degradation of Polymers: Cellulose, Xylan, Pectin, Starch

Authored by: Susan Leschine

Handbook on Clostridia

Print publication date:  March  2005
Online publication date:  March  2005

Print ISBN: 9780849316180
eBook ISBN: 9780203489819
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780203489819.pt2

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Abstract

Many species of Clostridium grow and persist in a wide variety of environments that are rich in decaying plant material. For example, free-living clostridia are commonly present in relatively high numbers in terrestrial environments, such as soils and sediments. Also, clostridia inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of herbivorous and wood-eating animals as members of complex host-associated microbial communities, and clostridia may be isolated directly from decaying plants and composts. Often, the clostridial species isolated from these environments produce the complex enzymatic machinery necessary to depolymerize plant polysaccharides, and usually these clostridia are able to utilize the decomposition products as fermentable substrates.

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