Protopectinases (PPases) constitute a heterogeneous group of extracellular enzymes able to release soluble pectin from insoluble protopectin in plant tissues. Geotrichum klebahnii
(ATCC 42397) produces PPase-SE with endopolygalacturonase activity. PPase-SE has been used for pectin extraction and maceration of plant tissues. Here, the capacity of G. klebahnii
to use different pectins as carbon and energy sources (CES) was studied, in addition to PPase-SE capacity to release pectin from lemon peel. The strain was unable to use pectin from different origins as CES. When G. klebahnii
was cultivated with mixtures of different amounts of glucose and citrus pectin as CES, the biomass obtained was proportional to the initial concentration of glucose, which was completely consumed. In addition, it produced PPase-SE in a glucose-containing medium. A culture was used for the extraction of pectin from lemon peels. Pectin was enzymatically extracted simultaneously with tissue maceration, yielding 3.7 g of (dry) pectin per 100 g of (wet) lemon peel. Extracted pectin was not metabolized by the strain. It was concluded that G. klebahnii
uses PPase-SE to macerate, invade and colonize plant tissues, thus releasing soluble sugars to be used as CES without metabolizing solubilized pectin.