Isolation and Characterization of a Chitinase from the Nine-Banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus
The insectivorous diet of the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is abundant in the polysaccharide chitin. To determine if armadillos produce a chitinase that aids in digestion of chitinous exoskeletons, armadillos were collected, and samples of their gastric and pancreatic tissues were removed. Tissues were lyophilized and stored at -20°C until resuspended in appropriate buffers for studies of pH and temperature optima. Extract from resuspended tissues was assayed for chitinase activity using a colorimetric procedure that detected N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (NAG), the monomeric unit in chitin. Chitinase activity was present only in gastric tissues. Optimal pH for chitinase activity from gastric tissues of armadillo was 5.0, and optimal temperature was 50-60°C. This chitinase was purified five-fold.
dasypus novemcinctus, nine-banded armadillo, chitin, chitinase, insectivory, myrmecophagy
Smith, Stephanie A., Lynn W. Robbins, and John G. Steiert. "Isolation and characterization of a chitinase from the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus." Journal of mammalogy 79, no. 2 (1998): 486-491.
Journal of mammalogy