Chitin and chitinolytic enzymes are gaining importance for their biotechnological applications. Particularly, chitinases are used in agriculture to control plant pathogens. Chitinases and chitooligomers produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of chitin can also be used in human health care. The success in employing chitinases for different aspects depends on the supply of highly active preparations at reasonable cost. Therefore, the understanding of biochemistry and genetics of chitinolytic enzymes, their phylogenetic relationships and methods of estimation will make them more useful in a variety of processes in near future.