Xylan is, after cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer in the plant kingdom. Its chemical composition and structure is complex and there is large variation between different plant species. Therefore enzymatic degradation or modification of this structure requires many different enzymes. The fungus Myceliophthora thermophila CI produces the complete spectrum of enzymes to degrade glucurono(arabino)xylan, such as thirteen different xylanases that all have different substrate specificities or mode of action. Xylan degrading enzymes are imperative for the efficient biological hydrolysis of the hemicellulose fraction of lignocellulosic feedstocks used for biofuel and biochemical production processes. In addition these enzymes are important in feed and food processing as they reduce viscosity and increase digestibility.
Functional analysis of the Myceliophthora thermophila CI xylanase machinery