The effects of glucose, crystalline cellulose and sawdust of Mitragyna cilata on the growth and cellulase production, inferred from cellulase (EC 3. 2. 1. 4) activity, of Penicillium chrysogenum PCL501 was determined. Glucose-containing media gave the highest mycelia weight of 1.78 mg mL-1 in 120 h of incubation. This is about 3.5 – 4.5 times the maximum weights of 0.51 and 0.40 mg mL-1 respectively obtained from the cultures containing cellulose and sawdust. The cultures containing crystalline cellulose and sawdust produced extracellular protein with cellulase (EC 3. 2. 1. 4) activity whereas glucose-containing cultures yielded very low protein and no significant cellulase activity. Maximum protein content of 0.02, 0.13 and 0.46 mg mL-1 respectively were obtained from the cultures containing glucose, cellulose and sawdust. Peak cellulase activity values of 100.0 and 92.2 Units L-1 respectively were obtained for the cultures containing cellulose and sawdust. There is a correlation between the protein released and cellulase activity of the culture filtrates. P. chrysogenum PCL501 produces extracellular proteins with significant cellulase activity in media containing cellulose and sawdust but not in glucose-containing medium. Sawdust is indicated as a good inducer of cellulase activity in the organism. The waste cellulosic material can be used as low-cost carbon source for commercial cellulase production.
Key words: P. chrysogenum PCL501, growth, cellulase activity, glucose, cellulosic materials.
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