3 Biotech

, 8:447 | Cite as

Biodelignification and hydrolysis of rice straw by novel bacteria isolated from wood feeding termite

  • Bahiru TsegayeEmail author
  • Chandrajit Balomajumder
  • Partha Roy
Original Article


In this study, two bacterial strains capable of degrading lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose were isolated from wood feeding termite. The isolates were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. A bacterium Ochrobactrum oryzae BMP03 capable of degrading lignin was isolated on alkali lignin medium and Bacillus sp. BMP01 strain capable of degrading cellulose and hemicellulose were isolated on carboxymethyl cellulose and xylan media. The efficiency of bacterial degradation was studied by evaluating the composition of rice straw both before and after degradation. The appearance of new cellulose bands at 1382, 1276, 1200, and 871 cm−1, and the absence of former lignin bands at 1726, 1307, and 1246 cm−1 was observed after biodelignification. This was further confirmed by the formation of channeling and layering of the microstructure of biodelignified rice straw observed under electron microscope. Maximum lignin removal was achieved in separate biodelignification and hydrolysis process after the 14th day of treatment by Ochrobactrum oryzae BMP03 (53.74% lignin removal). Hydrolysis of the biodelignified rice straw released 69.96% of total reducing sugars after the 14th day hydrolysis by Bacillus sp. BMP01. In simultaneous delignification and hydrolysis process, about 58.67% of total reducing sugars were obtained after the 13th day of biotreatment. Separate delignification and hydrolysis process were found to be effective in lignin removal and sugar released than the simultaneous process. The bacteria, Bacillus sp. BMP01, has the ability to degrade hemicellulose and cellulose simultaneously. Overall, these results demonstrate that the possibility of rice straw bioconversion into reducing sugars by bacteria from termite gut.


Biodelignification Microbial hydrolysis Wood feeding termite Rice straw Lignin 



The authors are thankful to Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, for providing necessary facilities and technical support. Our gratitude will extend to the National Center for Microbial Resources, Pune, India, for performing 16S rRNA sequencing. One of the authors, Bahiru Tsegaye, would like to thank the Ministry of Education of Ethiopia for providing fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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