Document Type : Article
Department of zoology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.
Cellulase is one of the most commercial and applicable enzymes which is produced chiefly by fungi, bacteria, protozoa and metazoa that catalyze cellulolysis, the decomposition of cellulose and of some related polysaccharides. Recently, the demand for this enzyme has been increased mostly for the various industrial purposes. It has been assumed that the milieu of earthworm’s intestine is the final destination of digestive enzymes such as cellulase. For the first time, this study is aimed to shed a light on the characteristics of cellulase activity in the coelomic fluid and body extract of the earthworm Allolobophora chlorotica. Practically, following the preparation of homogenate and coelomic body in cold-ice and enzyme activities at different conditions were investigated and based on results, the optimum pH and temperature for cellulase activity were pH 9 and 50℃, respectively for the two sources. Given the results, the earthworm contains a novel cellulolytic enzyme which is more stable at alkaline pH. A side from optimal pH and temperature, the addition of metal salts, including CaCl2, NaCl, MgCl2, KCl increase cellulase activity, although, HgCl2 and EDTA have inhibitory effects on the enzyme. Due to common properties of cellulase from coelomic and body extracts it can be concluded that coelomic cellulase contents can be secreted from digestive tracts to facilitate the digestion of the food. Furthermore, based on results, the novel cellulase is active at alkaline pH and moderately thermostable which can be used in biotechnological industries after purification.