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Several different lignocellulosic biomass of agricultural origin hold remarkable potential
for conversion into commodity products presenting dual advantage of sustainable resource
supply and environmental quality. There is generally an increasing demand for amino acids
especially L-glutamic acid as growth promoting factor, as well as flavour enhancer in
foods. The present study was an investigation on comparative L-glutamic acid production
by wild-type and a mutant strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum (CGNTA) using rice husk
pretreated with 1.0M H2SO4 and 1.0M KOH. The acid-treated and alkali-treated rice husk
with high carbohydrate content of 64.25% and 76.37% respectively as determined, were
used for the production of glutamic acid by submerged fermentation. The acid-treated and
alkali-treated rice husk at concentration of 4% gave the highest glutamic acid yield of
27.84g/L and 15.72g/L respectively with the developed mutant strain (CGNTA) under
predetermined optimum fermentation conditions (30oC, pH 7.0, 4% substrate concentration
and 7% inoculum size). In contrast, lower yields of 10.40g/L and 9.08g/L respectively were
obtained with the wild type strain under similar optimum culture conditions. Out of four
parameters optimized, all were found to significantly (p˂0.05) influence glutamate
production from both the acid and alkali-treated rice husk by the CGNTA. Similarly, all
parameters except variation in the concentrations of the acid and alkali-treated rice husk
(p˂0.05) were found to be significant on the performance of the wild-type strain in
glutamate production. Acid-treated rice husk hydrolysate was determined to be a better
substrate for L-glutamate production by the CGNTA mutant than the wild type strain of C.
glutamicum. The mutant strain (CGNTA) developed could, therefore, be useful in the
industrial production of glutamic acid using rice husk as substrate pretreated with acid.
This may perhaps form the basis of starting a microbial L-glutamate production industry
from rice husk as substrate in this locality and Nigeria as a whole.
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