2019 Volume 31 Issue 178 Pages E15-E20
Glycosidases play vital roles in the degradation of oligo- and polysaccharides. To date, many glycosidases have been isolated from microorganisms, plants, and animals, and have been used in industrial applications. Although microorganisms are important resources of novel and useful glycosidases, we are currently unable to culture most microorganisms in the laboratory. The metagenomic approach, which is a culture-independent method used to obtain genomic information regarding environmental microorganisms, is a powerful tool for the isolation of genes encoding novel glycosidases from microorganisms. This review introduces unique characters and biotechnological applications of β-glucosidases and a β-xylosidase/α-L-arabinofuranosidase isolated with the metagenomic approach.