Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulose to Glucose: A Report on the NATICK Program
ARMY NATICK RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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The roots of the Natick work on Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulose to Glucose go back to the classic paper of Reese, Siu and Levinson in 1950 which reported that many fungi grow well on cellulose and degrade it but the culture filtrates usually do not hydrolyze insoluble cellulose although they frequently hydrolyze soluble cellulose derivatives such as carboxymethyl cellulose. To explain this the authors proposed that several enzymes are required to degrade crystalline cellulose and filtrates of cellulose cultures may not contain all of these. This theory greatly stimulated research and interest in cellulolytic enzymes. Reese and his colleagues continued to screen microorganisms for cellulose production, to optimize media and cultural conditions, and to separate and study the cell free enzymes and their interactions with cellulose.
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