Bio-degumming technology of jute bast by Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01
© The Author(s) 2016
Received: 27 July 2016
Accepted: 21 September 2016
Published: 3 October 2016
Among industrial fiber crops, jute is ranked second to cotton in terms of yield and planting area worldwide. The traditional water retting and chemical semi-degumming methods restrict the development of the jute industry. Jute fiber can be extracted from jute bast through mechanical rolling (preprocessing), culture of bacteria, soaking fermentation (liquor ratio = 10, inoculum size = 1 %, temperature = 35 °C, and time = 15 h), inactivation, washing, and drying. Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 secretes key degumming enzymes: pectinase, mannase, and xylanase, which match well the main non-cellulosic components of jute bast. Compared with the traditional water retting degumming, the bio-degumming cycle is shortened from more than 10 days to 15 h. The proposed bio-degumming achieved higher efficiency and lower pollution than water retting and chemical semi-degumming.
KeywordsBio-degumming Pectobacterium sp. Jute Fiber
Jute belongs to the genus Corchorus in family Tiliaceae. This annual herbaceous industrial crop is ranked second to cotton in terms of yield and planting area worldwide. Jute is mainly produced in India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Brazil, and Australia. Corchorus capsularis L. and Corchorus olitorius L. are the common jute cultivars (Ahmed and Akhter 2001; Haque et al. 2003). A jute fiber is shiny white and displays good hygroscopicity and rapid water apron. The high biomass and excellent quality of jute fiber are comparable to those of woods. Fiber is an important raw material for packages, ropes, carpets, and canvasses. In recent years, fiber has widely attracted attention as a multipurpose, renewable, and environment-friendly natural resource. The United States, Japan, India, China, Germany, and Australia have developed various products in bast fiber spinning design, papermaking, building materials, jute–plastic composite, adsorption, forages, biological energy sources, culture medium, and other fields (Chen and Yang 2013; Xiong 2008).
Cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, lignin, cerolipoid, and ash are the main components in jute bast. The cellulose content of jute bast is 59–63 %, and the other non-cellulosic components are called gum. Jute bast displays high lignin content, reaching up to 11–16 %. A jute fiber is considerably short, and the gum binds jute fibers together. Only jute fibers with the most amount of eliminated gum can be used as raw materials for spinning (Haoran 1993).
The disadvantages of traditional water retting include serious pollution, long degumming time, poor quality and stability, and high labor intensity. Chemical semi-degumming is disadvantageous because it causes heavy pollution and severe fiber damages; moreover, this method is costly. Chemical semi-degumming is inapplicable to jute fibers, which are short and existing as bundles. Therefore, the imperfect degumming technology restricts the development of the jute industry (Ahmed and Akhter 2001; Banik et al. 2007). Bio-degumming catalyzes and degrades non-cellulosic components (including pectin, hemicelluloses, and lignin) in jute bast by using enzymes secreted by microorganisms, resulting in cellulose extraction (Kozlowski et al. 2006). Bio-degumming is a clean, environmentally friendly, highly efficient, high-quality, and low-cost method and is becoming the leading jute degumming technology (Banik et al. 2007; Biswas et al. 2013; Liu and Peng 2004). Microbial degumming involves enzyme degumming and bacterial degumming. However, no research on enzyme catalytic mechanism on bio-degumming of jute has been reported. Moreover, the immature enzyme mixing technology and the costly enzymes restrict the applications of enzyme degumming. For bacterial degumming, some researchers have studied the screening and community structure of degumming bacterial strains of jute (Banik et al. 2007; Das et al. 2012; Haque et al. 2003; Munshi and Chattoo 2008). A mixed bacterial retting culture was inoculated during ribbon retting of jute, and most of the defects arising from conventional retting could be overcome by ribbon retting (Banik et al. 2003). An ecofriendly and water saving retting technology of jute has been developed by fermentation by fermentation procedure (Banik 2016).
To accelerate the further development of the jute degumming technology, after pre-processing through mechanical rolling, a set of optimized bio-degumming technology for jute was developed using the highly efficient Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01.
Materials and methods
Jute bast was provided by the Zhangzhou Jute/Kenaf Test Station of the National Agricultural Industrial Technology System. The jute bast from Corchorus capsularis Zhonghuangma No. 1 at 110 days of growth was dry and free of mildew. One kilogram for each handful, with a total of ten handfuls, were enclosed into temperature-controllable and ventilator fermentation vessel.
Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 (CGMCC5522) was used in this study. This strain was cultivated and collected by the authors.
The Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 strain was cultivated at 34 °C for 6 h under the velocity of 180 rpm. The medium consists of 1.0 % glucose, 0.5 % NaCl, 0.5 % beef extract, 0.5 % peptone, and 100 mL of water.
Design of bio-degumming technology and optimization of fermentation conditions
Jute bast was exposed to sunlight for 1–2 days. The head and tail (20 cm) of the jute bast were cut. After eliminating the dusts and impurities, the jute bast was preprocessed through mechanical rolling (Liu et al. 2012).
Orthogonal test factors and levels of fermentation parameters
Inoculum size (%)
Inactivation and jute washing: The jute was boiled in water at 105 °C for 20 min immediately after degumming and then washed using a bast fiber washing machine.
Comparative analysis of different degumming technologies
Bio-degumming: jute bast → preprocessing → soaking fermentation → inactivation → washing with water → dehydration → drying → jute fiber.
Water retting: jute bast → natural soaking → washing with water → drying under the sun → jute fiber.
Chemical semi-degumming: jute bast → preprocessing → pickling (1 mL/L, 55 °C, 1:15, 60 min) → washing with water → digestion (16 g/L (mass fraction) NaOH, 3 g/L Na2SiO3, 4 g/L Na2SO3, 2 g/L penetrant, 90 °C, 1:20, 120 min) → washing with water → pickling → washing with water → dehydration → drying → jute fiber (Wang and Cai 2008).
Test for effects of degumming
Removal rate of non-cellulose: Jute bast (M0) was dried into constant weight before degumming, followed by fermentation and washing. The jute bast was subsequently dried into constant weight (M1). The weight loss ratio was V = (M0 − M1)/M0 × 100 % (Zeng and Xiang 2007). Fiber fineness is detected with weighing method while fiber strength is detected with single-fiber strength tester (Fu et al. 2008).
Residual gum content was tested by referring to the quantitative analysis of the chemical components of ramie (Jiang and Shao 1986).
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) test: COD concentration in fermentation liquor after degummed by COD detector ET99718 (Lovibond® Group, Germany) was tested according to specifications (Han et al. 2013).
All the test data were repeated three times, and got the average of three replicates.
Enzyme activity during degumming
Enzyme activity is defined as the enzyme quantity needed to degrade 1 μmol of substrate per minute. The enzyme activity of strains was tested using the dinitrosalicylic acid method (Do et al. 2016; Sohail et al. 2016; Wang 2009).
Monosaccharide test during degumming
During fermentation (0–15 h) of the bio-degumming of jute bast, samples of fermentation liquid liquor were collected every 3 h and then separated by a 0.2 μm membrane (Vivaflow 200). The filtered solution was used to test the monosaccharide content. The monosaccharide components generated after jute hydrolysis were systematically analyzed using 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone precolumn derivatization in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Monosaccharides and their derivative components and contents in the hydrolysate were tested by C18 chromatographic analysis and ultraviolet detection, after jute acetolysis was detected using trifluoroacetic acid (Zhang et al. 2013; Fang et al. 2015).
Change rule of living bacterium content, pH and oxidation reduction potential
During jute degumming process, the quantity of degumming bacterial strain DCE-01 was determined through plate bacterial colony counting method (Shen and Chen 2007). pH and ORP were determined with automatic potential determinator ZDJ-4A from INESA instrument (Shanghai, China).
Fermentation parameters for jute bio-degumming
Analysis of variance of fermentation parameters in bio-degumming of jute
Multiple comparisons of fermentation parameters in bio-degumming of jute
Comparison of the effects of jute degumming
Jute degumming effects of different degumming technologies
Residual gum content (%)
Weight loss ratio of raw jute (%)
Fiber breaking strength (cN d/tex )
The residual gum content in water retting was higher by 22.37, 11.01 and 27.68 % than those of bio-degumming and chemical semi-degumming. The residual gum content of bio-degumming was 15.01 % higher than that of chemical semi-degumming, indicating that this chemical reagent can dissolve gum more thoroughly than biological enzymes secreted by the Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01; however, the amount of microorganism for jute degumming during water retting is inadequate. The weight loss ratio of bio-degumming was lower by 17.79 and 31.10 % than those of water retting and chemical semi-degumming, respectively. The residual gum content and weight loss ratio of water retting were high, whereas the fiber breaking strength decreased significantly, indicating that fiber degradation strains exist in the natural environment, thereby damaging the jute fibers and reducing the jute fiber quality. The fiber breaking strength of bio-degumming was 14.29 % higher than that of chemical semi-degumming, indicating that bio-degumming maintained fiber strength well. Fiber strength obtained by jute processing with DCE-01 was the highest, followed by fibers obtained by water retting, and chemical semi-degumming methods. Moreover, the COD of bio-degumming was 26.43 and 48.61 % lower than those of water retting and chemical semi-degumming, respectively.
Enzyme activity in fermentation liquor (unit: U/mL)
Activity of enzymes secreted by Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 during degumming (unit: U/mL)
Fermentation time (h)
The catalytic activity of pectinase, mannase, xylanase, and cellulase increased gradually during fermentation. After inoculation, the activity of pectinase increased by 75.9 times within 9 h and then stabilized. The activities of mannase and xylanase increased stably with time, increasing by 18.2 and 3.7 times, respectively, after 12 h of fermentation. The activity of pectinase reached up to 353.8 after 12 h of fermentation, which was 6.45 and 47.88 times higher than those of mannase and xylanase, respectively. Just after inoculation, cellulase couldn’t be detected, and then its content gradually increased. Its content at 15 h was 2.7 times of that at 3 h, but the enzyme activity was low and increasing rate was slow.
Monosaccharide content of fermentation liquor
Concentrations of monosaccharide components in 0–10 h fermentation liquor of jute (unit: μg/mL)
Change rule of living bacterium content, pH and ORP
Fermentation time (h)
Living bacterium content
1.6 × 106
3.2 × 106
2.5 × 107
7.9 × 107
9.2 × 107
7.2 × 107
The initial concentration of glucose was relatively high, which may be related to glucose in the culture medium. Galacturonic acid in pectin degradation products was relatively low, although it increased continuously. This phenomenon was observed possibly because pectinase was the key enzyme, although residual pectinase was detected in the fermentation supernate resulting from the timely, thorough, and great demands of microbial degradation.
After inoculation and DCE-01 bacterial strain experienced a 3-h adaptation period, the quantity of viable bacteria rapidly increased, after 9 h of culturing, the concentration of viable bacteria increased by 49 times and then entered into a stable period. The quantity of viable bacteria started decreasing at 15 h, and the whole process presented typical bacterial growth law. Within 12 h, pH was kept acidic, but gradually increased and turned into alkalinity at 15 h. Within 12 h, ORP > 0 which meant continuous aerobic status. As culturing time passed, it weakened and then slowly rose again, and reached anaerobic status at 15 h (Table 7).
Technologies for bio-degumming of Erwinia carotovora (Liu and Peng 2004), Bacillus pumilus (Basu et al. 2009), Aspergillus niger (Zheng et al. 2010), and Bacillus subtilis (Guo et al. 2011) on ramie, kenaf, and other fiber crops have been reported in China and in foreign countries. However, few studies have investigated the bio-degumming of jute. A Micrococcus sp. strain that can accomplish jute degumming within 6 days was screened (Haque et al. 2003). The proposed degumming technology was combined with mechanical rolling preprocessing, which can accomplish bio-degumming of jute within 15 h. This approach includes two important aspects: (1) A highly efficient degumming strain Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 was reported, which secretes mannase, pectinase, and xylanase simultaneously. (2) This approach adopted roller compaction engine prior to biological fermentation. The mechanical rolling (preprocessing) disrupted the adhesion between non-cellulosic materials and cellulose, resulting in direct fall-off of abundant non-cellulosic materials, intensifying the infiltration capacity of microorganism and its enzymes. As a result, the degumming effect of jute improved significantly.
Conventional water retting of jute is characterized by high water consumption, heavy pollution, and long degumming time (Haque et al. 2002), whereas chemical semi-degumming of jute is disadvantageous in terms of heavy pollution and severe fiber damages (Ahmed and Akhter 2001). However, the bio-degumming of jute does not require strong acid and strong base and is characterized by gentle degumming technological conditions, high efficiency, high quality, and low pollution. In contrast with the ribbon retting of jute (Banik et al. 2003), during jute degumming process of bacterial strain DCE-01, within 12 h, pH is kept acidic while ORP kept being greater than 0 namely under aerobic status, at 15 h, pH presented alkaline status while ORP was negative namely under anaerobic status. During degumming process, while degrading substrate and generating acidic substances, degumming microorganisms consumed acidic substances. Inconsistency in degradation products and product utilization rate between aerobic degumming and anaerobic degumming processes resulted in two totally different degumming systems.
The gum of jute consists of complex components, including 13–20 % hemicelluloses, 11–16 % lignin, and 2 % pectin (Lu 1993; Xu et al. 2010). During degumming, the use of key enzymes that match well the jute gum is necessary. However, natural strains secreting enzymes suitable for jute gum degradation are difficult to the castle, resulting in slow development of bio-degumming. The Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 simultaneously secretes pectinase, mannase, and xylanase during jute degumming, and the activities of these enzymes at 15 h reached up to 353.8, 54.84 and 7.39 U/mL, respectively. In the meantime, this bacterium also secreted cellulose, but with low enzyme activity and slow increasing rate. Just after inoculation, the cellulase couldn’t be detected, and then its content increased gradually. Its content was 1.12 U/mL at 3 h, and that at 15 h was 3.05 U/mL. Cellulase could reduce jute fiber strength, and exert negative effect on fiber performance, hence subsequent study should consider deleting this gene. During degumming, hydrolysates of jute included mannose, rhamnose, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose, and xylose. As fermentation proceeded, galacturonic acid increased continuously at a slow rate, whereas the other monosaccharide components increased first and then subsequently decreased. This result demonstrated that the Pectobacterium sp. DCE-01 released pectinase, mannase, and xylanase continuously during jute degumming.
Planning and designing of study: SD, ZL, YP; Experimentation: SD, XF, LC, KZ; Result analysis: SD, ZL; Manuscript drafting: SD. All authors contributed in the final approval of manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Consent for publication
This article does not contain any individual persons data.
This article does not contain any studies concerned with experimentation on human or animals.
This study was funded by Mordern Agro-industry Technology Research System (CARS-19), Chinese Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project (ASTIP-IBFC08), Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (2016jj3126), and the Project of Scientific Elitists in National Agricultural Research and Agricultural Science.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
- Ahmed Z, Akhter F. Jute retting: an overview. J Biol Sci. 2001;17:685–8.Google Scholar
- Banik S. Fungal dry retting of jute—an ecofriendly and water saving technology for retting of water. Indian J Fibre Text. 2016;41:212–6.Google Scholar
- Banik S, Basak MK, Sil SC. Effect of inoculation of pectinolytic mixed bacterial culture on improvement of ribbon retting of jute and kenaf. J Nat Fibers. 2007;4:33–50.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Banik S, Basak MK, Paul D, Nayak P, Sardar D, Sil SC, Sanpui BC, Ghosh A. Ribbon retting of jute—a prospective and ecofriendly method for improvement of fibre quality. Ind Crops Prod. 2003;17:183–90.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Basu S, Saha MN, Chattopadhyay D, Chakrabarti K. Large-scale degumming of ramie fibre using a newly isolated Bacillus pumilus DKS1 with high pectate lyase activity. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;36:239–45.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Biswas D, Nandi AK, Chakrabarti SK, Ray P. Development of sustainable technology to produce jute-ramie blended textile and its applications. In: International conference on natural fibers—sustainable materials for advanced applications, Changsha, 2013. Cairo: Hindawi publishing corporation; 2013.Google Scholar
- Chen S, Yang HL. Bast fiber industry economic analysis report during 2011–2012. Changsha: Hunan University Press; 2013.Google Scholar
- Das B, Chakrabarti K, Ghosh S, Majumdar B, Tripathi S, Chakraborty A. Effect of efficient pectinolytic bacterial isolates on retting and fibre quality of jute. Ind Crops Prod. 2012;36:415–9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Do VH, Tran PL, Ni L, Park KH. A continuous coupled spectrophotometric assay for debranching enzyme activity using reducing end-specific α-glucosidase. Anal Biochem. 2016;492:21–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fang JJ, Qin GC, Ma J, She YM. Quantification of plant cell wall monosaccharides by reversed-phase liquid chromatography with 2-aminobenzamide pre-column derivatization and a non-toxic reducing reagent 2-picoline borane. J Chromatogr A. 2015;1414:122–8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fu SY, Yu JY, Wu LL, Liu LF, Xiai ZP, Liu GZ. Study on high temperature degumming of jute fiber. Text Technol Dev. 2008;1:73–9.Google Scholar
- Guo G, Liu ZC, Xu JF, Liu JP, Dai XY, Xie DP, Peng KQ, Feng XY, Duan SW, Zheng K, Cheng LF, Fu YG. Purification and characterization of a xylanase from Bacillus subtilis isolated from the degumming line. J Basic Microbiol. 2011;52:419–28.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Han M, Liu K, Gao C. Use and consideration of Lovibond COD multi-parameter water quality analyzer. Anal Instrum. 2013;3:66–9.Google Scholar
- Haque MS, Ahmed Z, Asaduzzaman M, Quashem MA, Akhter F. Distribution and activity of microbial population for jute retting and their impact on water of jute growing areas of Bangladesh. Pak J Biol Sci. 2002;5(6):704–6.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Haque MS, Zakaria A, Adhir KB, Firoza A. Identification of Micrococcus sp. responsible for the acceleration of jute retting. Pak J Biol Sci. 2003;67:686–7.Google Scholar
- Jiang FX, Shao K. Ramie chemical composition quantitative analysis method GB5889-1986. Beijing: National Bureau of Standards of China; 1986.Google Scholar
- Kozlowski R, Batog J, Konczewicz W, Mackiewicz-Talarczyk M, Muzyczek M, Sedelnik N, Tanska B. Enzymes in bast fibrous plant processing. Biotechnol Lett. 2006;28(10):761–5.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Liu ZC, Peng YD. Study on techniques of bio-pulping based on kenaf bark/Eulaliopsis binala. Minneapolis: CCG International; 2004. p. 311–5.Google Scholar
- Liu ZC, Duan SW, Ma L, Zheng K, Cheng LF, Feng XY, Zheng X, Long CH. Pretreatment machine of raw materials for bio-degumming. State intellectual property office of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing; 2012. China Patent ZL 201220390609, 13 Feb 2013.Google Scholar
- Lu H. Chinese bast fiber crops cultivation. Beijing: Agriculture Press; 1993.Google Scholar
- Munshi TK, Chattoo BB. Bacterial population structure of the jute-retting environment. Microb Ecol. 2008;56:270–82.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Shen P, Chen XD. Microbiology experiment. 4th ed. Beijing: Higher Education Press; 2007.Google Scholar
- Sohail M, Ahmad A, Khan SA. Production of cellulase from Aspergillus terreus MS105 on crude and commercially purified substrates. 3 Biotech. 2016;2016:61. doi:10.1002/ente.201402137.Google Scholar
- Wang XS. Gene clong and expression of enzymes for bio-extracting of herbaceous fiber Chinese academy of agricultural sciences. Beijing: Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences; 2009.Google Scholar
- Wang WM, Cai ZS. Study on the chemical degumming of jute fiber. Text Aux. 2008;25:21–3.Google Scholar
- Xiong HP. Bast fiber crops thremmatology. Beijing: China’s Agricultural Science and Technology Press; 2008.Google Scholar
- Xu XF, Chen P, Chen CX, Liu HM, Yan YR. Study on the fast degumming process of jute by microwave-accelerated alkalization treatment. Shanghai Text Sci Technol. 2010;38:26–31.Google Scholar
- Zeng Y, Xiang X. Screening of strains for microbial degumming of rami. J Text Res. 2007;28:73–5.Google Scholar
- Zhang SJ, Li CL, Zhou GY, Che GD, You JM, Suo YR. Determination of the carbohydrates from Notopterygium forbesii Boiss by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Carbohydr Polym. 2013;97:794–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Zheng LJ, Du B, Xing J, Gao SH. Bio-degumming optimization parameters of kenaf based on a neural network model. J Text Inst. 2010;12:1075–9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar