Isolation and Characterization of Coprophilous Cellulolytic Fungi from Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) Dung

Ahmadu Ali Farouq, Dzulkefly Kuang Abdullah, Foo Hooi-Ling, Norhafizah Abdullah


A lot of work has been done on isolation of cellulolytic fungi from the natural environment, but no such work was done on Asian elephant dung in Malaysia. Fungi that grow on elephant dung which is full of fibres may serve as a source of potential cellulase enzymes. Commercial cellulase enzymes used for the hydrolysis of lignocellulose biomass are not only expensive, but may as well hinder progress in the bioethanol industry. In this study, eight new fungi were isolated from Asian elephant dung sourced from Malaysian forest reserve. The fungi were identified morphologically and by molecular assay. The sequences of the fungi were deposited in the Gen Bank NCBI and were assigned accession numbers. Phylogenetic tree of the fungi was constructed to show similarities of the new fungi to known strains. The fungi were tested for cellulolytic potential using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Trichoderma aureoviride strain UPM 09 (JN811061) and Fusarium equiseti strain UPM 09 (JN811063) proved to be potential cellulolytic fungi. This study shows that nature harbors the best cellulolytic fungi for biotechnological applications yet to be exploited.

Keywords: cellulolytic, fungi, cellulase, lignocelluloses, biomass, Trichoderma aureoviride, Fusarium equiseti

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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