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Keywords:

  • cold-active pectinolytic enzyme;
  • pectin;
  • psychrophilic yeast

Abstract

Aims:  The present study was conducted to screen for psychrophilic yeasts that are able to degrade pectin compounds at low temperature, and to examine the cold-active pectinolytic enzymes produced by the isolated psychrophilic yeasts.

Methods and Results:  Psychrophilic yeasts, which grow on pectin as a sole carbon source, pectinolytic–psychrophilic yeast (PPY) strains PPY-3, 4, 5 and 6, were isolated from soil from Abashiri (Hokkaido, Japan). The sequences of 28S rDNA D1/D2 of strains PPY-3 and 4 indicated a taxonomic affiliation to Cryptococcus cylindricus and Mrakia frigida, respectively, strains PPY-5 and 6 belonged to Cystofilobasidium capitatum. The isolated strains were able to grow on pectin at below 5°C, and showed the activities of several cold-active pectinolytic enzymes.

Conclusion:  The findings of this study indicate the possibility that the isolated strains produce novel pectinolytic enzymes that are able to degrade pectin compounds at low temperature.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  It is possible that the cold-active pectinolytic enzymes from the isolated strains can be applied to the food industry, e.g. the clarification of fruit juice below 5°C.