Endophytic Fungi as Pretreatment to Enhance Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Olive Tree Pruning.
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Olive tree pruning, as one of the most abundant lignocellulosic residues inMediterranean countries, has been evaluated as a source of sugars for fuel and chemicals production. A mild acid pretreatment has been combined with a fungal pretreatment using either two endophytes (Ulocladium sp. and Hormonema sp.) or a saprophyte (Trametes sp. I-62). The use of endophytes is based on the important role that some of them play during the initial stages ofwood decomposition. Without acid treatment, fungal pretreatment with Ulocladiumsp. provided a nonsignificant enhancement of 4.6% in glucose digestibility, compared to control. When a mild acid hydrolysis was carried out after fungal pretreatments, significant increases in glucose digestibility from 4.9% to 12.0% (compared to control without fungi) were observed for all fungal pretreatments, with maximum values yielded by Hormonema sp. However, despite the observed digestibility boost, the total sugar yields (taking into account solid yield) were not significantly increased by the pretreatments. Nevertheless, based on these preliminary improvements in digestibility, this work proves the potential of endophytic fungi to boost the production of sugar from olive tree pruning, which would add an extra value to the bioeconomy of olive crops.
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