Background: One of the critical challenges of cost-effective bioethanol production from
lignocellulosic biomass is the decreasing yield of reducing sugars caused by increasing substrate loading.
Hence, it is crucial to determine the best substrate concentration for efficient saccharification of
Objective: This paper reports the saccharification of corn cob by two lignocellulolytic fungi (Fusarium
oxysporum and Sporothrix carnis) and concurrent production of lignocellulolytic enzymes at varying
Methods: F. oxysporum and S. carnis were cultivated on corn cob based media at 30°C and 160 rpm
for 144 h. The lignocellulosic composition of corn cob was determined. Saccharification of varying
concentrations of substrate was determined by evaluating the release of reducing sugar while the production
of cellulase and xylanase was monitored.
Results: Cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin contents of corn cob were 37.8±1.56%, 42.2±1.68% and
12.7±1.23%, respectively. Yields of reducing sugar by F. oxysporum and S. carnis were 5.03 µmol/mL
and 6.16 µmol/mL; and 6.26 µmol/mL and 6.58 μmol/mL at 10.0 and 25.0% substrate concentration,
respectively. The production of cellulase and xylanase was exponential as corn cob concentration increased
from 0.5% to 10.0% yielding 586.93 U/mL and 1559.18 U/mL from F. oxysporum, with 590.7
U/mL and 1573.95 U/mL from S. carnis, respectively.
Conclusion: The study shows that the most efficient saccharification of corn cob by F. oxysporum and
S. carnis was achieved at 10.0% substrate concentration. This suggests that two separate saccharification
processes at this concentration will result in higher yields of enzyme and reducing sugars than a
single process involving higher concentration.