Natural Occurence of Enzymes Linked to Inorganic Supports
Powerful enzyme activities were found in the sediments of the Venice lagoon and internal city canals. No detectable enzyme activity was present in the aqueous phase even after centrifugation. These insolubilized enzymes showed remarkable heat stability and an increased resistance to severe environmental conditions. They were probably of bacterial origin, mostly immobilized on the inorganic component of the sediment, so that they could survive the organisms from which they were generated, since their lifespan is prolonged by insolubilisation. As a consequence they resist to conditions where the same enzyme under soluble form would be rapidly inactivated. They are useful diagnostic factors of the ecosystem, since their presence is related to the waste products. A study on the linkage between enzymes and clays suggested that a spontaneous and specific affinity between them, previously unsuspected, allowed the formation of “activated” sediments, the leading force in the first step of organic matter degradation in ecosystems.
KeywordsBiomass Clay Cellulose Fermentation Mercury
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