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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9727581, 10 pages
Research Article

Endophytic Fungi as Pretreatment to Enhance Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Olive Tree Pruning

1INIA-CIFOR, Ctra de la Coruña, Km 7.5, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering Department, Jaén University, Campus Las Lagunillas, s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Raquel Martín-Sampedro

Received 30 June 2017; Revised 28 September 2017; Accepted 18 October 2017; Published 7 November 2017

Academic Editor: Raf Dewil

Copyright © 2017 Raquel Martín-Sampedro 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.


Olive tree pruning, as one of the most abundant lignocellulosic residues in Mediterranean countries, has been evaluated as a source of sugars for fuel and chemicals production. A mild acid pretreatment has been combined with a fungal pretreatment using either two endophytes (Ulocladium sp. and Hormonema sp.) or a saprophyte (Trametes sp. I-62). The use of endophytes is based on the important role that some of them play during the initial stages of wood decomposition. Without acid treatment, fungal pretreatment with Ulocladium sp. provided a nonsignificant enhancement of 4.6% in glucose digestibility, compared to control. When a mild acid hydrolysis was carried out after fungal pretreatments, significant increases in glucose digestibility from 4.9% to 12.0% (compared to control without fungi) were observed for all fungal pretreatments, with maximum values yielded by Hormonema sp. However, despite the observed digestibility boost, the total sugar yields (taking into account solid yield) were not significantly increased by the pretreatments. Nevertheless, based on these preliminary improvements in digestibility, this work proves the potential of endophytic fungi to boost the production of sugar from olive tree pruning, which would add an extra value to the bioeconomy of olive crops.