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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 512497, 13 pages
Research Article

Isolation, Screening, and Identification of Cellulolytic Bacteria from Natural Reserves in the Subtropical Region of China and Optimization of Cellulase Production by Paenibacillus terrae ME27-1

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Microbial and Plant Genetic Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Guangxi University, 100 Daxue Road, Nanning, Guangxi 530004, China

Received 11 February 2014; Accepted 8 May 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Encarnación Ruiz

Copyright © 2014 Yan-Ling Liang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


From different natural reserves in the subtropical region of China, a total of 245 aerobic bacterial strains were isolated on agar plates containing sugarcane bagasse pulp as the sole carbon source. Of the 245 strains, 22 showed hydrolyzing zones on agar plates containing carboxymethyl cellulose after Congo-red staining. Molecular identification showed that the 22 strains belonged to 10 different genera, with the Burkholderia genus exhibiting the highest strain diversity and accounting for 36.36% of all the 22 strains. Three isolates among the 22 strains showed higher carboxymethyl cellulase (CMCase) activity, and isolate ME27-1 exhibited the highest CMCase activity in liquid culture. The strain ME27-1 was identified as Paenibacillus terrae on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as well as physiological and biochemical properties. The optimum pH and temperature for CMCase activity produced by the strain ME27-1 were 5.5 and 50°C, respectively, and the enzyme was stable at a wide pH range of 5.0–9.5. A 12-fold improvement in the CMCase activity (2.08 U/mL) of ME27-1 was obtained under optimal conditions for CMCase production. Thus, this study provided further information about the diversity of cellulose-degrading bacteria in the subtropical region of China and found P. terrae ME27-1 to be highly cellulolytic.