The cellulosome concept as an efficient microbial strategy for the degradation of insoluble polysaccharides

Trends Microbiol. 1999 Jul;7(7):275-81. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(99)01533-4.


The cellulosome is an extracellular supramolecular machine that can efficiently degrade crystalline cellulosic substrates and associated plant cell wall polysaccharides. The cellulosome arrangement can also promote adhesion to the insoluble substrate, thus providing individual microbial cells with a direct competitive advantage in the utilization of the soluble hydrolysis products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Cellulose / chemistry
  • Cellulose / metabolism*
  • Fungi / enzymology*
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Solubility


  • Polysaccharides
  • Cellulose