Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 407–423 | Cite as

N-Acetyl-d-glucosamine Production by a Chitinase of Marine Fungal Origin: a Case Study of Potential Industrial Significance for Valorization of Waste Chitins

  • Sancharini Das
  • Prabudhha Dey
  • Debasis Roy
  • Mrinal Kumar Maiti
  • Ramkrishna SenEmail author


Chitin is a linear homo-polymer of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc) and the second most abundant biopolymer after cellulose. Several industries rely on the bioprocesses for waste chitin recycle and hydrolysis by chitinase (EC for potential healthcare applications through the production of its monomeric subunit, GlcNAc. In the present study, a chitinase-producing fungus (named as MFSRK-S42) was isolated from the marine water sample of North Bay of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It was identified as Aspergillus terreus by morphological and molecular characterization methods leveraging the internal transcribed spacer between 18S rRNA and 5.8S rRNA. Chitinase that was isolated from the fermentation broth of marine Aspergillus terreus was used to carry out biotransformation of chitineaceous wastes. Prior to the enzymatic hydrolysis step, chitins from different sources were characterized for the presence of characteristic functional groups, grain size distribution, and surface morphology. Enzymatic hydrolysis of 50 mg/ml substrate with six units of enzyme incubated for 5 days revealed 15, 36.5, 40, and 46 mg/ml GlcNAc production from ground prawn shell, chitin flakes, colloidal prawn shell, and swollen chitin respectively under standardized conditions, as determined by HPLC. In this study, 30, 73, 80, and 92% GlcNAc yields were observed from ground prawn shell, chitin flakes, colloidal prawn shell, and swollen chitin conversion respectively. The HPLC-eluted product was confirmed as GlcNAc by the presence of characteristic functional groups in FTIR and 244 Da molecular weight peak in HRMS analyses.


Marine Aspergillus terreus Chitinase Waste chitin bioconversion N-Acetyl-d-glucosamine production HPLC, FTIR, and HRMS analyses 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the technical help received from Dr. R. Samanta and Dr. D. Gunasheelan during HPLC analyses.

Funding Information

SD is thankful to the National Jute Board (Govt. of India) and IIT Kharagpur for financial support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12010_2018_2822_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (66 kb)
Figure S1 (PDF 65 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sancharini Das
    • 1
  • Prabudhha Dey
    • 2
  • Debasis Roy
    • 3
  • Mrinal Kumar Maiti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ramkrishna Sen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Advanced Laboratory for Plant Genetic Engineering, Advanced Technology Development CenterIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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