The ability of chitinases to degrade the second most abundant polymer, chitin, into potentially useful chitooligomers and chitin derivatives has not only rendered them fit for chitinous waste management but has also made them important from industrial point of view. At the same time, they have also been recognized to have an imperative role as promising biocontrol agents for controlling plant diseases. As thermostability is an important property for an industrially important enzyme, various bacterial and fungal sources are being exploited to obtain such stable enzymes. These stable enzymes can also play a role in agriculture by maintaining their stability under adverse environmental conditions for longer time duration when used as biocontrol agent. Biotechnology has also played its role in the development of recombinant chitinases with enhanced activity, thermostability, fungicidal and insecticidal activity via recombinant DNA techniques. Furthermore, a relatively new approach of generating pathogen-resistant transgenic plants has opened new ways for sustainable agriculture by minimizing the yield loss of valuable crops and plants. This review focuses on the potential applications of thermostable and recombinant microbial chitinases in industry and agriculture.
Keywords: Biocontrol; Chitinase; Chitooligomers; Thermostability; Transgenic plants.
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