Characterization of two endoglucanases for the classification of the earthworm, Eisenia fetida Waki

Shin Ichi Akazawa, Yuki Ikarashi, Jun Yarimizu, Keisuke Yokoyama, Tomoya Kobayashi, Hikaru Nakazawa, Wataru Ogasawara, Yasushi Morikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Eisenia fetida and Eisenia andrei are vermicomposting species that are used as model animals for testing chemical material toxicology. Eisenia spp. are grown commercially in various fields in Japan. However, these two species have not been classified because it is difficult to distinguish them morphologically; thus, all bred earthworms are called E. fetida. However, it has been proposed that these two species have different expression regulation mechanisms. Here, we classified a sample of earthworms purchased from several farms, confirming that both E. fetida and E. andrei are present in Japanese earthworm breeding programs. We also characterized two highly active endoglucanases (EfEG1 and EfEG2) from the E. fetida Waki strain, which contained strong fibrinolytic enzymes for improving human health. We confirmed that EfEG1 is 1371 bp long and belongs to GHF9. Thus, E. fetida Waki may have commercial application for biomass utilization and as a dietary health supplement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Characterization
  • Earthworm
  • Eisenia fetida
  • Endoglucanase
  • Phylogenetic analysis


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