We investigated the physicochemical properties of starches extracted from 8 lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) rhizomes harvested in different months (September 2012 to May 2013). The physicochemical properties of the lotus starches depended on the harvest date. The peak viscosity (PV) in the Rapid Visco-Analyser analysis, and the viscosity at 65 °C (V65) in the rotational viscometer analysis were significantly lower in SEP starch (extracted from the September-harvested sample) than in the other lotus starches. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients of potassium ion (K) content vs. V65 and of K content vs. PV were 0.905 and 0.714, respectively, indicating that potassium ions are important for expressing the pasting properties of lotus starch. Principal component analysis suggested that the potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus contents are important for displaying both the pasting and gelatinization properties of the lotus starches. Meanwhile, the cluster analysis revealed that physicochemical properties of the SEP starch were different from those of the starches harvested in other months.
In the current study, we attempted to enhance the xylanase activity of Trichoderma reesei ATCC66589 by using disparity mutagenesis, wherein a plasmid harboring proofreading-impaired DNA polymerase δ was inserted. Following selection on xylan-rich media and successive plasmid curing, a mutant showing conidiospores strikingly different from those of the parent strain, with many small humped-surface spheres, was generated. Xylanase and β-xylosidase activities of the mutant XM1, cultivated in xylan medium, were 15.8- and 11.0-fold higher than those of the parent strain, respectively. Furthermore, xylanase activity was generated approximately 24 h in advance compared to that in the parent. In contrast, when cultivated in Avicel medium, its xylanase and β-xylosidase activities were 0.14- and 0.33-fold, respectively, compared to those in the parent. Among the xylan component sugars and related polyols, D-xylose and xylobiose exerted a distinct inductive effect on the xylanase activity in Avicel media, while xylitol and L-arabinose did not. Mutagenesis involved in xylose catabolism is suggestive of changes at the gene transcription level. Although the induction mechanism remains unclear in details, disparity mutagenesis may be useful for obtaining T. reesei mutants with high xylanase activity.
The cellulose binding domain (CBD) of cellulosome-integrating protein A from Clostridium thermocellum NBRC 103400 was genetically fused to FMN-dependent NADH-azoreductase (AZR) and glucose 1-dehydrogenase (GDH) from Bacillus subtilis. The fusion enzymes, AZR-CBD and CBD-GDH, were expressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta-gami B (DE3). The enzymes were purified from cell-free extracts, and the specific activity of AZR-CBD was 15.1 U/mg and that of CBD-GDH was 22.6 U/mg. AZR-CBD and CBD-GDH bound strongly to 0.5 % swollen cellulose at approximately 95 and 98 % of the initial protein amounts, respectively. After immobilization onto the swollen cellulose, AZR-CBD and CBD-GDH retained their catalytic activity. Both enzymes bound weakly to 0.5 % microcrystalline cellulose, but the addition of a high concentration of microcrystalline cellulose (10 %) improved the binding rate of both enzymes. A reactor for flow injection analysis was filled with microcrystalline cellulose-immobilized AZR-CBD and CBD-GDH. This flow injection analysis system was successfully applied for the determination of glucose, and a linear calibration curve was observed in the range of approximately 0.16–2.5 mM glucose, with a correlation coefficient, r, of 0.998.
We characterized an α-glucosidase belonging to the glycoside hydrolase family 31 from Aspergillus sojae. The α-glucosidase gene was cloned using the whole genome sequence of A. sojae, and the recombinant enzyme was expressed in Aspergillus nidulans. The enzyme was purified using affinity chromatography. The enzyme showed an optimum pH of 5.5 and was stable between pH 6.0 and 10.0. The optimum temperature was approximately 55 °C. The enzyme was stable up to 50 °C, but lost its activity at 70 °C. The enzyme acted on a broad range of maltooligosaccharides and isomaltooligosaccharides, soluble starch, and dextran, and released glucose from these substrates. When maltose was used as substrate, the enzyme catalyzed transglucosylation to produce oligosaccharides consisting of α-1,6-glucosidic linkages as the major products. The transglucosylation pattern with maltopentaose was also analyzed, indicating that the enzyme mainly produced oligosaccharides with molecular weights higher than that of maltopentaose and containing continuous α-1,6-glucosidic linkages. These results demonstrate that the enzyme is a novel α-glucosidase that acts on both maltooligosaccharides and isomaltooligosaccharides, and efficiently produces oligosaccharides containing continuous α-1,6-glucosidic linkages.