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Biomolecules 2013, 3(3), 612-631;

Fungal Beta-Glucosidases: A Bottleneck in Industrial Use of Lignocellulosic Materials

Section for Sustainable Biotechnology, Aalborg University Copenhagen, A C Meyers Vaenge 15, 2450 Copenhagen SV, Denmark
Bioproducts, Sciences & Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland, WA 99354, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2013 / Revised: 17 August 2013 / Accepted: 20 August 2013 / Published: 3 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes and Their Biotechnological Applications)
PDF [294 KB, uploaded 3 September 2013]


Profitable biomass conversion processes are highly dependent on the use of efficient enzymes for lignocellulose degradation. Among the cellulose degrading enzymes, beta-glucosidases are essential for efficient hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass as they relieve the inhibition of the cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases by reducing cellobiose accumulation. In this review, we discuss the important role beta-glucosidases play in complex biomass hydrolysis and how they create a bottleneck in industrial use of lignocellulosic materials. An efficient beta-glucosidase facilitates hydrolysis at specified process conditions, and key points to consider in this respect are hydrolysis rate, inhibitors, and stability. Product inhibition impairing yields, thermal inactivation of enzymes, and the high cost of enzyme production are the main obstacles to commercial cellulose hydrolysis. Therefore, this sets the stage in the search for better alternatives to the currently available enzyme preparations either by improving known or screening for new beta-glucosidases. View Full-Text
Keywords: beta-glucosidase; cellulase; biomass; hydrolysis; biofuels beta-glucosidase; cellulase; biomass; hydrolysis; biofuels
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Sørensen, A.; Lübeck, M.; Lübeck, P.S.; Ahring, B.K. Fungal Beta-Glucosidases: A Bottleneck in Industrial Use of Lignocellulosic Materials. Biomolecules 2013, 3, 612-631.

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