The enzymatic hydrolysis of native and pretreated chitin by the culture filtrate of Myrothecium verrucaria NCIM 903 was studied. Also, factors which influence the enzymatic hydrolysis such as pH, temperature, enzyme and substrate concentration and enzyme adsorption characteristics (n-value) were studied. Chitin hydrolysate was also used as a substrate for Single Cell Protein (SCP) production using Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCIM 3052. With M. verrucaria chitinase complex, native and acid swollen chitin were hydrolyzed at pH 5.0 and 40°C, 12.7% and 39.6% respectively. The n values which is a measure of adsorption characteristics of an enzyme were 0.4 and 0.63 for native and acid swollen chitin, respectively. This indicates that the swelling of the ordered structure results in efficient hydrolysis. As the end-product of hydrolysis of chitin was mainly N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, its further utilization as a substrate for SCP production was investigated. A biomass of 9.5g/l with a growth yield of 0.27g/g of substrate utilized was obtained. The total protein and nucleic acid content of the biomass was 61% and 3.1%, respectively.
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