The use of cellulase in various industries is increasing day by day so its demand is also increasing. Hence it is necessary to screen and identify new strains exhibiting efficient cellulase production. In this study, 20 soil samples and 20 compost samples were collected from different areas of Kathmandu valley. Fungi were isolated and cellulase positive isolates were identified by standard microbiological techniques. Enzyme was produced from isolates showing highest zone of hydrolysis and purified partially by acetone precipitation method. The activity of enzyme from both isolates at different pH, temperature and substrate concentration was studied.

A total of 83 and 91 fungal isolates were obtained from soil and compost samples respectively. Among them, 12 isolates from soil and 15 from compost showed cellulase positive activity. Among all the positive isolates, Penicillium spp. from soil and Trichoderma spp. from compost samples showed the highest cellulolytic activity. Enzyme produced by Penicillium spp. had an optimum pH of 6 while that of Trichoderma spp. had an optimum pH of 5.The optimum temperature for enzyme produced by both isolates was 280-370C but enzyme from Trichodermaspp. was found to be active up to 700C while that of Penicillium spp. was active only up to 600C.The activity of both enzymes was highest at 1% carboxymethyl cellulose. The activity ofTrichoderma spp. was significantly higher (P<0.05) at all conditions than that of Penicillium spp. Also, there was a significance difference (P<0.05) between crude and partially purified enzyme.

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