Journal article Open Access
Sonia Sharma; Neeraj Wadhwa
Fibrous wastes correspond to approximately 54.3 wt.-% of a banana plant. The waste weight is mainly of bunches, stems, and leaves. These ligno-cellulosic fibre waste can be designed and tailored to yield value added products which can be exploited by the farmers, exporters and weavers. Pectin (plant cement) and hemicelluloses (22-25%) found in plant cell walls in the plate (middle lamella). These macromolecules have needs to be hydrolyzed faster without affecting the quality of fibre. The chemical and mechanical processes adopted for fibres actually affect color uptake, strength of fibre thus fetching lower price. We report a biological ecofriendly method of retting where pectinases produced by the endophytic microorganisms of banana pseudostem were used to separate the fibre bundles of cellulose.. Endophytes are microorganisms which live in close relationship with living plant tissues in a cooperative relationship delivering a few auxiliary metabolites and proteins with the possibility to hydrolyse a few plant-determined macromolecules of the host. They spend the entire or part of their lifecycle colonizing within sound tissues of the host plants.The endophytic pectinase helps to break down the cell walls and can find commercial application in extraction of fibres.Seven bacterial isolates were screened and isolated in pectinase screening agar medium [PSAM]. Pectinase producing endophytic bacteria is isolated from corm of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius reported by us are Staphylococcus sciuri, Exiguobacterium acetylicum, Exiguobacterium indicum which are good pectinase producers having specific activity of 8.26, 12.61, 6.81 respectively. Treatment of banana pseudostem with these microbes showed 91%, 94%, 96.7% loss in the total weight of stem leaving behind pure cellulose fibres.