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cellulose digestion

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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cellulose digestion

Postby sargeMonkey » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:06 am

Forgive me if the question seems dumb.
The bacteria in the guts of the cow digest cellulose, right? Why don't we industrialize that process to manufacture food from grass? Grass is everywhere and it would be a cheap source of food. I
know there are a lot of stages in cows digestion process, and its not reproducible in lab. But the fact remains that bacteria can decompose cellulose.
I'm not an expert in biology, and dont know the obstacles in it, but from where I stand, it seems an interesting thing to do research on.
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Postby canalon » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:25 pm

Do not worry, people are working on it. And studying bacteria from the termite gut too.
However there is a difference between having a bacteria that can digest cellulose and having an economically viable industrial process to digest cellulose.
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Postby sargeMonkey » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:16 am

Cool. Ill search more on it then. Gimme so pointers too, if you are aware of any, please :)
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Postby vinayaksabnis » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:52 am

Here the concept comes Mutualism in zoology which is positive type of interaction between two living organisms of a particular population.The ruminant stomach of cow has bacterias in it which has the capacity to digest cellulose with the help of enzyme cellulase as grass contains cellulose which is undigested by the stomach of cow.It seems difficult to provide such a condition in our living ecosystem or artificially prepared as the condition in the ruminant cow's stomach.Even though it is prepared artificially the bacterias we know are very minute and they require certain temperature certain environment for there own growth they get their nutrition from the cow's stomach so its difficult to maintain the same temperate and same factors necessary for the bacteria to produce cellulase enzyme for digestion of cellulose...
So there are many obstacles if we began to think like that and anyways natural is natural we cant make xerox copies of it even though utilizing our artificial technique...
true it seems don't u?
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Re:

Postby canalon » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:59 pm

sargeMonkey wrote:Cool. Ill search more on it then. Gimme so pointers too, if you are aware of any, please :)

Sorry, no.
Not my particular point of interest, and just discussed with people interested in going in the field, or planning to. But no idea where to look specifically. Although, since most of the point was to use the degraded cellulose to produce ethanol, using ethanol and cellulose as keywords might be helpful :)
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Postby vinayaksabnis » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:19 am

Agree with you . . . :-)
Ahh...and thanks for reading such a big description hehe...
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