Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310, UTM Johor Bahru, Malaysia; Enzyme Technology and Green Synthesis Group, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310, UTM Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Electronic address: [Email]
Production of cellulases and xylanase by a novel Trichoderma asperellum UC1 (GenBank accession no. MF774876) under solid state fermentation (SSF) of raw oil palm frond leaves (OPFL) was optimized. Under optimum fermentation parameters (30 °C, 60-80% moisture content, 2.5 × 106 spores/g inoculum size) maximum CMCase, FPase, β-glucosidase and xylanase activity were recorded at 136.16 IU/g, 26.03 U/g, 130.09 IU/g and 255.01 U/g, respectively. Cellulases and xylanase were produced between a broad pH range of pH 6.0-12.0. The enzyme complex that comprised of four endo-β-1,4-xylanases and endoglucanases, alongside exoglucanase and β-glucosidase showed thermophilic and acidophilic characteristics at 50-60 °C and pH 3.0-4.0, respectively. Glucose (16.87 mg/g) and fructose (18.09 mg/g) were among the dominant sugar products from the in situ hydrolysis of OPFL, aside from cellobiose (105.92 mg/g) and xylose (1.08 mg/g). Thermal and pH stability tests revealed that enzymes CMCase, FPase, β-glucosidase and xylanase retained 50% residual activities for up to 15.18, 4.06, 17.47 and 15.16 h of incubation at 60 °C, as well as 64.59, 25.14, 68.59 and 19.20 h at pH 4.0, respectively. Based on the findings, it appeared that the unique polymeric structure of raw OPFL favored cellulases and xylanase productions.