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Table 1 Recently identified plant biomass-degrading enzymes through metagenomic approaches (metagenome libraries screening for enzyme activity)

From: Bioprospecting metagenomes: glycosyl hydrolases for converting biomass

Enzyme name Metagenome DNA source Library vector Insert size Number of clones screened Positive clones Reference
Agarase Soil from an unplanted field Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,523 12 clones (belong to six genes) [34]
Amylase Environmental (US patent number 5,958,672) Lambda   50,000 15 clones (belong to three enzymes) [33]
Amylase Soil from an unplanted field Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,523 1 clone [34]
Amylase Soil from the junction of the groundwater table Plasmid 2–7 kb 30,000 1 clone [35]
Amylase Soil and compost from the surface layer of a private garden Plasmid 1.4–6.5 kb 31,967 38 clones [36]
Cellulase Various lake water samples from East Africa Lambda 2–10 kb 114,000 4 clones [38]
Cellulase Soil from an unplanted field Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,523 1 clone [34, 37]
Cellulase Soda lake sediments from Wadi el Natrun, Egypt Lambda 2.0–5.5 kb 35,000 1 clone [19]
Cellulase A soda lake (Wadi el Natrun, Egypt) alkaline microcrystalline cellulose medium enrichment Lambda 2–6 kb 37,000 1 clone [19]
Cellulase Rabbit cecum contents Cosmid 22–47 kb 32,500 11 clones (representing six genes) [39]
Chitinase Coastal seawater outside the Delaware Bay Lambda 1.8–4.2 kb 75,000 2 clones [40]
Chitinase Estuarine water inside the Delaware Bay Lambda 5.0–6.1 kb 75,000 9 clones [40]
Cyclodextrinase Bovine rumen micro flora Lambda Average 5.5 kb 14,000 1 clone [45]
Endo-β-1,4- glucanase Bovine rumen micro flora Lambda Average 5.5 kb 14,000 9 clones [45]
Esterase Various lake water samples from East Africa Lambda 2–10 kb 130,000 2 clones [38]
Esterase Bovine rumen micro flora Lambda Average 5.5 kb 14,000 12 clones [45]
Esterase Crude oil springs contaminated soil Cosmid 25–40 kb 2,500 1 clone [43]
Esterase Biofilms growing with a drinking water network Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,600 1 clone [43]
Esterase Pools of various environmental soils Fosmid 30–40 kb 60,000 1 clone [44]
Pectate lyase Soil from an unplanted field Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,523 2 clones [34]
Xylanase Insect gut (insects collected from various locations) Lambda 3–6 kb 1,000,000 4 clones [41]
Xylanase Manure waste water from a dairy farm Lambda 4–10 kb 5,000,000 1 clone [42]
1,4-α-glucan branching enzyme Soil from an unplanted field Cosmid 25–40 kb 1,523 1 clone [34]
  1. kb = kilobase