Advances in Microbiology, 2013, 3, 326-332
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aim.2013.34046 Published Online August 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/aim)
Cellulase Producing Bacteria from the Wood-Yards
on Kallai River Bank
Sasidharan Sreedevi, Sreedharan Sajith, Sailas Benjamin*
Enzyme Technology Laboratory, Biotechnology Division, Department of Botany,
University of Calicut, Malappuram, India
Email: *firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Received May 25, 2013; revised June 25, 2013; accepted July 10 2013
Copyright © 2013 Sasidharan Sreedevi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Li-
cense, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This study evaluates the influence of growth parameters such as pH, temperature, Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC)
concentration and agitation on cellulase production from three bacterial strains, viz., Achromobacter xylosoxidans BSS4,
Bacillus sp. BSS3 and Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 isolated from the wood-yards on Kallai river bank in Kerala. Production
of cellulase by these isolates was detected using basal salt medium (BSM) with 0.5% CMC as supplement, and CMCase
activity was confirmed by iodine test. Dinitrosalicylic acid method was employed for assaying the cellulase production
by measuring the amount of glucose liberated in µmol/mL/min. Maximum enzyme production from Pseudomonas sp.
BSS2 was at pH 8, 37˚C with 1% CMC and 150 rpm, and cellulase production increased from initial 49.84 U/mL to
91.28 U/mL after optimization. The highest enzyme activity from Bacillus sp. BSS3 was at pH 9, 37˚C with 1% CMC,
150 rpm, and cellulase production increased from initial 26.05 U/mL to 104.68 U/mL after optimization. The maximum
enzyme production from A. xylosoxidans BSS4 was at pH 7, 40˚C with 0.5% CMC and 150 rpm, and cellulase produc-
tion increased from initial 55.28 U/mL to 68.37 U/mL after optimization. Thus among the three isolates, Bacillu s sp.
BSS3 showed maximum enzyme yield which can be explored for further scale up studies with an industrial perspective.
Keywords: Cellulase; Carboxy Methyl Cellulose; Dinitrosalicylic Acid; Optimization; Submerged Fermentation
Lignocellulose, the leading bio-residue from agricultural
sector is the predominant renewable biopolymer in the
world which comprises of celluloses, hemicelluloses and
lignin. A promising strategy for the efficient utilization
of this renewable resource is to use it as a base material
for the production of desired metabolites. Apart from the
production of value-added products, its bioconversion
offers an effective solution for the abatement of pollution
due to solid-waste and their utilization, which would al-
low sustainable process and products. Numerous pro-
ducts of high economic value like alcohols, acids, single
cell proteins, paper, etc., are produced by the effective
bioconversion of lignocellulosics . Cellulose is the
primary product of photosynthesis in plants which is a
polymer having D-anhydroglucopyranose molecules lin-
ked by β-1,4-glycosidic bonds . Eventhough bulk
quantity of cellulosic residues gets accumulated in the
terrestrial ecosystem, they are actively degraded by nu-
merous bacteria and fungi, then contributing to main-
taining the carbon cycle.
Cellulose is degraded by an enzyme system called
cellulases produced by fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes.
The cellulase system constitute three major enzymes; i.e.,
endoglucanase (endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase, EC184.108.40.206), exo-
glucanase (exo-1,4-β-D-glucancellobiohydrolase, EC3.2.
1.91), and β-glucosidase (β-D-glucoside glucanohydro-
lase, EC 220.127.116.11), which act synergistically towards the
complete breakdown of cellulose. Endo-glucanases make
nicks within the cellulose biomolecule thereby exposing
their reducing and non-reducing ends, cellobiohydrolases
release cellobiose units—a disaccharide of two glucose
molecules linked by a β-1,4 linkage—the repeating units
of cellulose from the chain ends; and finally β-glucosi-
dases act on cellobiose to liberate glucose .
A wide variety of microorganisms have the ability to
degrade cellulose, which include aerobic and anaerobic
bacteria, white-rot and soft-rot fungi. Fungi are the most
studied organisms with respect to the production of cel-
lulolytic enzymes. Compared to fungi, bacteria have nu-
merous advantages on an industrial view point like its
opyright © 2013 SciRes. AiM
S. SREEDEVI ET AL. 327
high growth rate, easy handling and adaptability to vari-
ous genetic manipulations . Production of extracellular
enzymes, especially carboxymethyl cellulase (CMCase)
by aerobic bacteria like Bacillus and Cellulomonas ,
are advantageous for large-scale applications. Bacterial
cellulases are constitutively produced by submerged fer-
mentation (SmF) in industries employing mainly geneti-
cally modified strains. Most importantly, thermophilic,
psychrophilic, alkalophilic, acidophilic and halophilic
bacteria inhabit a wide variety of environmental and in-
dustrial niches that are extremely resistant to environ-
mental stress and they can produce enzymes which are
stable under extremely harsh conditions . As a result,
isolation and characterization of cellulase-producing bac-
teria will continue to be a principal component of enzy-
Compared to solid-state fermentation (SSF), SmF is
widely used in industries since it is easy to operate with
control over various process parameters, coupled with
easy downstream processing . Various process para-
meters like incubation time, temperature, pH, agitation,
etc., seem to influence microbial growth and production
of cellulase; thus a judicious selection of these parame-
ters can dramatically improve the enzyme yield.
The centuries-old wood-yards on the Kallai river
banks, in the suburbs of Kozhikode City, Kerala State,
India, are famous for timber-based industries and allied
business. Pursuant to that, enormous quantity of lignoce-
llulolytic wastes are being created day-by-day in the
form of carpentry waste, sawdust, wood chips etc. Being
marshy and almost anoxic environment with wide varia-
tion in pH, it is expected that extremophiles could be
isolated and characterized from this habitat, and that by
centuries-old natural processes, enormous microbial
wealth (bacteria, fungi and yeast) thriving on wood
would have evolved in this environment, and thus the
importance of this study. In the light of this background,
the present study focuses on the isolation and characteri-
zation of novel bacteria from this wood-yard with poten-
tials for producing cellulase.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Sample Collection
Samples rich in cellulose content like wood bark of tim-
ber on river bank side, water-logged wood, sawdust, and
sludge from sawdust dumping site were collected from
five different locations near the milling areas of wood-
yards on Kallai river side.
Samples were transported to the lab under sterile condi-
tions and one gram of the sample was transferred in a
250 mL flask containing sterile double distilled water
(ddH2O), which was made up to 100 mL. The mixture in
the flask was shaken for 15 - 20 min (150 rpm at 37˚C)
for getting detached the attached surface microflora. One
mL of this sample was plated after sufficient serial dilu-
tions (up to 10−7) on Mullen Hinton Agar (MHA) plates
and incubated for 24 - 48 h at 37˚C.
2.3. Screening for Cellulolytic Activity
Bacterial cultures grown on MHA slant were cultured on
basal mineral salt medium (BSM) containing (g/L) 2.0
NaNO3; 1.0 K2HPO4; 0.5 KCl; 0.5 MgSO47H2O; 2.0
proteose peptone; 20 agar and 0.5% CMC as additional
nutrient, i.e., for the microbial screening for cellulase
activity. Detection of CMCase activity was performed on
the culture plate using iodine test (solution containing
1% iodine crystals and 2% potassium iodide), which
would in 15 min form a bluish-black complex with un-
used CMC, demarcating a clear zone around the colonies
2.4. Characterisation of Bacteria
Characterization of bacterial isolates was based on cell
morphology and biochemical tests. Gram staining, pro-
duction of endospore, motility, IMViC, catalase, produc-
tion of H2S, carbohydrate fermentation (glucose, lactose,
sucrose and mannose [G, L, S, M]) starch and casein
hydrolyses were the tests employed for the characteriza-
tion of bacteria.
2.5. Molecular Characterization
The isolates were confirmed by the PCR-amplification of
16S rDNA gene from the isolated genomic DNA with 8F,
and 1492R primers using BDT v3.1 cycle sequence kit
on ABI 3730 × 1 genetic analyser (Xcelris Labs, Ahme-
2.6. Optimization of Cellulase Production
Different parameters applied for SmF were optimized for
enhancing cellulase production.
2.6.1. Effect of pH
To determine the optimum pH for cellulase production,
BSM containing 0.5% CMC with different pH, i.e., 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 was inoculated and incubated in the shak-
er at 37˚C. Whole flask samples were withdrawn and cel-
lulase activity in the supernatant was assayed at every 6 h
2.6.2. Effect of Temperature
To determine the optimum temperature for cellulase pro-
duction, BSM containing 0.5% CMC was prepared with
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AiM
S. SREEDEVI ET AL.
optimum pH fixed earlier for each culture was incubated
at 35˚C, 37˚C or 40˚C in a shaker. Whole-flask samples
were withdrawn at every 6 hours interval for the cellulase
2.6.3. Effect of CMC Concentration
To determine the optimum CMC concentration for cellu-
lase production, BSM with different concentrations of
CMC (0.5%, 1% or 1.5%) was prepared and inoculated
with bacterial cultures and incubated at pH and tempera-
ture fixed earlier for each culture, and whole flask sam-
ples were withdrawn at every 6 h interval for the cellu-
2.6.4. Effect of Agitation
To determine the effect of agitation in the production of
cellulase, BSM having CMC was prepared with optimum
pH, temperature and CMC concentration fixed for each
culture and kept along with appropriate controls with
agitations (50, 100, 150 or 200 rpm).
2.7. Enzyme Assay (CMC as Substrate) by DNS
Cellulase activity was determined by extracting the su-
pernatant by centrifugation at 8944 g at 4˚C. The reaction
mixture contained 0.5 mL of 1% CMC (1 g CMC in 100
mL of 0.1 M citrate buffer, pH 4.8) as substrate; 0.5 mL
of crude enzyme (supernatant) was added to it and incu-
bated at 50˚C for 30 min in a water bath. At the end of
the incubation period, 3 mL of 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid
(DNS) was added and incubated for 5 min in a boiling
waterbath for color development and cooled rapidly. The
reducing sugar was measured by the method of Miller
. The activity was measured against a reagent blank
at 540 nm in a UV-Vis spectrophotometer (Shimadzu,
Japan). One unit of cellulase activity is defined as the
quantity of cellulase required to liberate 1 µmol of glu-
cose equivalents per minute under the assay conditions.
Cellulase activity was calculated using the formula, ΔE ×
Vf/Δt × ∑ × Vs × d; where, ΔE = absorbance at 540 nm,
Vf = final volume of reaction mixture, including DNS,
Vs = crude supernatant (mL) containing cellulase used,
Δt = incubation time for hydrolysis, ∑ = extinction coef-
ficient of glucose (0.0026), d = diameter of cuvette.
All experiments were repeated 5 times, and average val-
ues with SD were plotted on the graphs.
In the present study, we isolated more than hundred bac-
teria from the wood-yards on Kallai river bank. Among
them, three potent cellulolytic bacterial cultures were
screened out for further studies. Characterization of the
cultures was done at morphological, biochemical and
molecular levels. Based on molecular characterization,
the cultures were identified and named as Achromobacter
xylosoxidans BSS4 (GenBank Accession No. JQ 407052),
Bacillus sp. BSS3 (GenBank Accession No. JQ 407051)
and Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 (GenBank Accession No. JQ
407050). Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 was obtained from the
wood bark of water-logged wood, while Bacillus sp.
BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 were isolated from the
bark of the woods kept partially immersed in the river
bank. No potent cellulolytic isolates were obtained from
other samples like sawdust and sludge collected.
The bacterial cultures were also characterized based on
colony nature, shape of colony margine, size, transpar-
ency, color, shape and elevation (Table 1). The cultures
were stored initially on MHA and later they were main-
tained in MSM supplied with CMC to induce cellulase
production. The morphological characterization studies
included Gram’s reaction, and examining cell shape, en-
dospore formation, spore position and motility. Pseudo-
monas sp. BSS2 is Gram −ve, motile rod without en-
dospores; Ba cillus sp. BSS3 is Gram +ve, motile rod
with endospores, while A. xylosoxidans BSS4 is Gram
−ve, motile rod with endospores (Figure 1). The bio-
chemical characterization of all the three cultures showed
similar response for catalase, H2S production, hydrolysis
of starch and casein, while showed variations in IMViC
and carbohydrate fermentation reactions (Table 2). The
iodine test (plate assay) for screening of cellulase activity
was performed on BSM with CMC agar, in which all the
three cultures showed well-defined clear zone around the
colony, which indicates that the CMC in the clear zone
area was hydrolyzed by the cellulase produced by the
bacteria. The unutilized CMC around the clear zone
formed dark colored complex with iodine. Among them,
Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 showed wider hydrolytic zone
(32 mm) (Figure 2).
The optimization of process parameters for cellulase
production by each culture included effects of pH, tem-
perature, CMC concentration and agitation. Our strategy
was to fix one parameter first (with other parameters ar-
bitrary), and use this fixed parameter for fixing the se-
cond one and so on. Initially, effect of pH on the enzyme
Table 1. Culture characteristics of bacterial isolates on
Culture name Characteristics
Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 Creamy, opaque, mucoidal colonies,
circular and convex
Bacillus sp. BSS3 Widely spreading, opaque, mucoidal
colonies with entire margin
Creamy, opaque, circular shaped
colonies with convex elevation
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AiM
S. SREEDEVI ET AL.
Table 2. Biochemical characteristics of bacterial isolates.
Culture name IMViC Catalase H2S
[G, L, S, M]
Pseudomonas sp BSS2 −, +, −, + + − − +, +, −, + −
Bacillus sp BSS3 −, +, −, − + − − +, −, −, − −
Achromobacter xylosoxidans BSS4 −, +, −, − + − − +, −, −, + −
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Figure 1. Morphological characteristics of Pseudomonas sp.
BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4. (a)
Gram’s staining for Pseudomonas sp. BSS2; (b) Endospore
staining for Pseudomonas sp. BSS2; (c) Gram’s staining for
Bacillus sp. BSS3; (d) Endospore staining for Bacillus sp.
BSS3; (e) Gram’s staining for A. xylosoxidans BSS4; and (f)
Endospore staining for A. xylosoxidans BSS4. Pseudomonas
sp. BSS2 was gram negative and did not produce endospore ,
while Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 were
Gram positive with endospores.
production was analyzed from pH 4 to 9 for Pseudomo-
nas sp. BSS2 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4; while for Ba-
cillus sp. BSS3, it was analysed from pH 4 to 10, since
the culture showed maximum production at pH 9. Pseu-
domonas sp. BSS2 showed maximum cellulase activity
(49.85 U/mL) at pH 8 and 12 h incubation, while A. xy-
losoxidans BSS4 showed maximum cellulase activity
(55.282 U/mL) at pH 7 and 6 h of incubation. Bacillus sp.
BSS3 showed maximum activity (26.05 U/mL) at pH 9
and 6 h incubation (Figure 3 (a)).
Effect of temperature on the enzyme production was
(b) (a) (c)
Figure 2. Iodine test for detecting cellulase activity of bacte-
rial cultures. (a) Pseudomonas sp. BSS2; (b) Bacillus sp.
BSS3; and (c) A. xylosoxidans BSS4 with cellulolytic activity
was selected using iodine test, which formed a bluish-black
complex with unused cellulose (CMC in the medium) leav-
ing a sharp and distinct zone around cellulase producing
microbial colonies on BSM-agar plate with 0.5% CMC.
Clear zone mean no CMC, i.e., utilized by cellulase pro-
duced by the culture.
analyzed at varying temperatures (30˚C, 37˚C and 40˚C);
i.e., after fixing the optimum pH for three cultures. All
cultures showed maximum enzyme yield at 37˚C at their
respective optimum pH fixed. Pseudomonas sp. BSS2
showed maximum production (59.07 U/mL) after 12 h
incubation, whereas Bacillus sp. BSS3 (34.56 U/mL) and
A. xylosoxidans BSS4 (61.94 U/mL) showed maximum
cellulase production after 6 h incubation (Figure 3(b)).
Effect of different CMC concentrations on cellulase
production was evaluated, after fixing the optimum pH
and temperature for each culture. Pseudomonas sp. BSS2
(62.35 U/mL) and Bacillus sp. BSS3 (90.10 U/mL)
showed maximum activity with 1% CMC at 12 h and 6 h,
while A. xylosoxidans BSS4 showed optimum CMC con-
centration as 0.5% (63.89 U/mL) at 6 h (Figure 3(c)).
For studying the effect of agitation, the cultures were
incubated at different rpm (50, 100, 150 and 200). All the
three cultures showed maximum enzyme production at
150 rpm in combination with already fixed respective pH,
temperature and CMC concentrations. At this standar-
dized conditions, Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 showed maxi-
mum cellulase activity (91.28 U/mL at 12 h), whereas
Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 showed
maximum cellulase activity at 6 h; i.e., 104.68 U/mL and
S. SREEDEVI ET AL.
Figure 3. Optimization of parameters for cellulase production. (a) Effect of pH on cellulase production from Pseudomonas sp.
BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 in BSM supplemented with CM C as substrate at pH range 4 - 10. Pseudo-
monas sp. BSS2 showed maximum cellulase production at pH 8 on 12th h of incubation, whereas Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A.
xylosoxidans BSS4 showed at pH 9 and 7 on 6th h of incubation, respectively. (b). Effect of temperature on cellulase produc-
tion from Pseudomonas sp. BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 in BSM supplemented with CMC. Pseudomo-
nas sp. BSS2 showed maximum cellulase production at pH 8 on 12th h of incubation at 37˚C, whereas Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A.
xylosoxidans BSS4 showed maximum production at pH 9 and 7, respectively (6th h of incubation at 37˚C). (c) Effect of sub-
strate concentration on cellulase production from Pseudomonas sp. BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 in BSM
supplemented with 0.5%, 1% and 1.5% CMC. Pseudomonas sp. BSS2 and Bacillus sp. BSS3 showed maximum cellulase
production with 1% CMC on 12th h and 6th h at pH 8 and 9, respectively at 37˚C, whereas A. xylosoxidans BSS4 showed
highest production with 0.5% CMC on 6th h at pH 7 and 37 ˚C. (d) Effect of agitation on cellulase production from Pseudo-
monas sp. BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 in BSM supplemented with CMC at different rpm 50, 100, 150
and 200. Pseudomonas sp. BSS2, Bacillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 showed maximum cellulase production with
optimum pH, temperature and CMC concentration on 12th h and 6th h, respectively at 150 rpm.
68.22 U/mL, respectively (Figure 3(d)). There was no
considerable difference in cellulase production from Ba-
cillus sp. BSS3 and A. xylosoxidans BSS4 at 6 and 12 h,
while it decreased thereafter upon further incubation.
In recent years, more attention has been directed toward
screening of novel microbial strains that have broad
spectrum of enzyme activities. The high cost of cellulase
production and low enzyme activities limit their Indus-
trial use. So efforts are to be taken to economize and in-
crease the yield of cellulase production by media opti-
mization , and hence isolation, characterization and
media optimization for cellulase producing bacteria re-
main to be an important area of biofuel research .
In this study, we focussed on the isolation of novel
cellulase producing bacteria with an industrial perspec-
tive. So we have selected wood-yards on Kallai river—
famous for numerous timber based industries—as our
site for sample collection. There are reports on the isola-
tion of cellulase producing bacteria from a wide variety
of sources like compost, decayed plant material, soil, etc.
. Bacteria present an attractive potential for the ex-
ploitation of cellulases due to their rapid growth. The
pure cultures obtained were characterized at morpholo-
gical, biochemical and at molecular levels. We wanted to
explore whether these cultures embodied with potentials
for cellulolytic activities for which we adopted plate as-
say . Exoglucanases are potent cellulases which are
active on amorphous regions of cellulose and their acti-
vity can be assayed using soluble cellulose substrates like
CMC. Screening for bacterial cellulase activity by mi-
crobial isolates is typically performed on CMC contain-
ing culture plates . In accordance with this, we used
basal mineral salt medium (BSM) supplemented with
CMC as sole carbon source for screening of cellulolytic
activity of these isolates. Hydrolytic zone on culture pla-
tes serves as a strong evidence of the hydrolytic capabli-
ties of the isolates .
SmF is the conventional fermentation strategy in the
presence of excess water, and in comparison to SSF, it is
better to monitor and handle the culture, which makes it
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AiM
S. SREEDEVI ET AL. 331
suitable for large scale industrial production of microbial
enzymes. SmF helps in the production of cellulase and
other enzymes . So we selected SmF for the produc-
tion of cellulase from these isolates. Cellulase production
is highly influenced by various process parameters like
pH, temperature, substrate concentration, agitation, etc.;
and large scale production requires understanding and
proper controlling of growth parameters to increase the
enzyme production . Cellulase production appears to
depend on pH value. Results illustrated in Figure 3
clearly show that cellulase production gradually increa-
sed as the pH values increased from 4 to 8 and dropped
at pH 9 for Pseudomonas sp. and A. xylosoxidans,
whereas Bacillus sp. showed maximum production at pH
9. Yang, et al.  reported that cellulase production was
high between 7 and 9 for Bacillus sp. with a yield of 49
U/mL at pH 9. Acharya and Chaudhary  studied on
the cellulase activity of two novel strains isolated from
hot springs, i.e., B. licheniformis WBS1 and Bacillus
WBS3, which showed maximum cellulase activity of
0.388 and 0.342 IU/mL at pH 8 and 9, respectively. Like
pH, temperature is also an important factor which influ-
ences cellulase yield.
It is obvious from Figure 3 that cellulase production
increased with increasing temperature from 30˚C to 37˚C,
but decreased at 40˚C. This was in contrast to the reports
of Immanuel , and they recorded maximum endo-
glucanase activity for Cellulomonas, Ba cillus and Mi-
crococcus at 40˚C and at neutral pH with an enzyme
yield of 0.0336, 0.0196 and 0.0152 U/mL, respectively.
Fagade and Bamigboye  observed highest cellulase
activity for B. licheniforms I and II at 40˚C with a value
of 0.52 mg/mL and 0.44 mg/mL reducing sugar. We tried
CMC as supplement at different concentrations, i.e.,
0.5%, 1% and 1.5%. For Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus
sp. optimum CMC concentration was 1%, while A. xylo-
soxidans showed maximum cellulase activity at 0.5%
CMC concentration. Lin, et al.  reported that B. thur-
ingiensis produced maximum relative cellulase activity
of 110 U/mL at 1% CMC and 40˚C.
Agitation increases aeration in the medium, and thus
helped in improving contact between substrate and mi-
croorganism, which ultimately favours better enzyme
yield. In accordance with that, we obtained better en-
zyme yield as agitation (rpm) was increased gradually
from 50 to 150 though 100 rpm, while at 200 rpm, the
enzyme yield was decreased. Hence, 150 rpm was found
suitable for the isolates described herein for better pro-
duction of cellulase. Taleb, et al.  reported that strains
of B. alcalophilus and B. amyloliquefaciens showed ma-
ximum cellulase activity (2.32 and 2.97 IU/mL, respec-
tively) at 1% CMC and 150 rpm. Ray, et al.  reported
that cellulase yield was higher in B. subtilis (26 U) and B.
circulans (20.2 U) upon SSF at an optimum pH range of
7.0 to 7.5 and 40˚C temperature. Shankar, et al.  re-
ported that B. pumilus EWBCM1 isolated from the gut of
earthworm showed maximum cellulase activity (0.585
IU/mL) at pH 6 and 37˚C. Satheesh, et al.  studied
the cellulase production by a newly isolated strain of
Bacillus sp. using cellulose powder, rice husk and filter
paper as substrates and found that rice husk was the most
suitable substrate for cellulase production. Otajevwo, et
al.  reported that isolates such as Bacillus, Clostrid-
ium, Pseudomonas and Erwinia showed optimum cellu-
lase production at 40˚C and pH 6.
In conclusion, we obtained three strains, viz., Pseudo-
monas sp., Bacillus sp. and A. xylosoxidans with cellu-
lolytic activity, which more promising than the reported
cultures of related genera. Of these, Bacillus sp. showed
reasonably high cellulolytic activity. Several microor-
ganisms capable of converting cellulose into simple car-
bohydrates had been discovered for decades. However,
demands from the enzyme industry for newly isolated
cellulolytic microbes which can better convert cellulose
in to value added products still active and there lies the
importance of this study.
The authors are thankful to the Kerala State Council for
Science, Technology and Environment for a research
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