ABSTRACT: Biological degumming is an eco-friendly, efficient, high-quality and low-cost method that has become the leading bast fiber degumming technology. However, bacterial strains with short degumming cycles, high gum removal rates and small fiber damage are few. To screen high quality microbial resources with bast-fiber biological degumming function, soil samples were collected from a continuously cultivated banana plantation and then used to be enriched by ramie and kenaf materials in turn. A selective pectin-degrading medium was used to screen for excellent bacteria. A dominant bacterial strain was identified by phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, and its biological degumming effects on ramie and kenaf were verified by a comprehensive evaluation system. Results showed that seven bacterial strains secreting pectinase were obtained and the largest hydrolysis circle with a diameter ratio H/C of 2.4 was produced by the bacterial strain hn1-1, which was preliminarily identified as the Bacillus cereus by colony morphological characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence (GenBank accession number: KX013542) cluster analysis. The fiber production of ramie and kenaf degummed by B. cereus hn1-1 for 10 h were 72 % and 76 %, the residual gum rates were 4 % and 5 %, respectively. These values satisfied the textile industry requirement of < 6 % residual gum rate. Therefore, an effective biological degumming bacterium, B. cereus, was identified using a pectin-hydrolysis selective medium through a simple, economical, and time-saving method. Furthermore, the biological degumming technology by B. cereus for ramie and kenaf had a short cycle, ideal removal gum rate, and high-quality and productive fiber output.
Ramie (Boehmeria nivea and Boehmeria tenacissima) is a widely used fiber crop. Traditional water retting or chemical boiling method performed in order to extract ramie fiber seriously pollute the environment and severely damage the fiber, so biological method is the general trend of the fiber-extracting industry. Some strains (687), involving 26 genera and 43 species, were collected from the three samples, which produce hydrolyzed circles in the selective culture medium in order to detect the degumming effect and to compare the enzyme activity. Among these strains, 13 of them did not produce cellulase and had a ramie decreasing weight rate above 25 %, which were regarded as efficient ramie-degumming strains named from R1 to R13. R1 to R13 belonged to Amycolata autotrobutylicun, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Bacillus subtilis, Rhizobium leguminosarum, Bacteroides finegoldii, Streptomyces lividans, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Pseudomonas brassicacearum, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus licheniformis, Pectobacterium wasabiae respectively. Bacteroides sp., Rhizobium sp. and Pseudomonas sp. were firstly reported to be used in ramie-degumming. At the same time, the pectinase was the key enzyme in the ramie-degumming process.