Navigation Links
Salt-loving microbe provides new enzymes for the production of next-gen biofuels
Date:6/30/2011

In order to realize the full potential of advanced biofuels that are derived from non-food sources of lignocellulosic biomasse.g., agricultural, forestry, and municipal waste, and crops such as poplar, switchgrass and miscanthusnew technologies that can efficiently and cost-effectively break down this biomass into simple sugars are required. Existing biomass pretreatment technologies are typically derived from the pulp and paper industry and rely on dilute acids and bases to break down the biomass. The treated biomass product is then exposed to biological catalysts, or enzymes, to liberate the sugars.

A new class of solvents, referred to as ionic liquids, have been reported to be much more efficient in treating the biomass and enhancing the yield of sugars liberated from it. While ionic liquids are useful for breaking down biomass, they can also hinder the ability of the cellulases (usually derived from fungi) used to produce sugars after pretreatment. Ionic liquids are a liquid form of salt that will inactivate enzymes by interfering with the folding of polypeptidesthe building-blocks of proteins. To help identify new enzymes that are tolerant of ionic liquids, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are turning to those found in the complete genome sequences of halophilic (salt-tolerant) organisms.

As a test of this bioenergy-related application of DNA sequencing and enzyme discovery, researchers led by the Director of the DOE JGI, Eddy Rubin, and the Vice-President of the JBEI Deconstruction Division, Blake Simmons, employed a cellulose-degrading enzyme from a salt-tolerant microbe that was isolated from the Great Salt Lake. The microbe in question, Halorhabdus utahensis, is from the branch of the tree of life known as Archaea; H. utahensis was isolated from the natural environment at the Great Salt Lake and sequenced at the DOE JGI as part of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project.

"This is one of the only reports of salt-tolerant cellulases, and the only one that represents a true 'genome-to-function' relevant to ionic liquids from a halophilic environment," said Simmons of the study published June 30, 2011 in Green Chemistry. "This strategy enhances the possibility of identifying true obligatory halophilic enzymes." Such salt-tolerant enzymes, particularly cellulases, offer significant advantages for industrial utility over conventional enzymes.

In collaboration with Jerry Eichler from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel they cloned and expressed a gene from H. utahensis in another haloarchaeal microbe, and were able to identify a salt-dependent enzyme that can tolerate high temperatures and is resistant to ionic liquids. "This project has established a very important link between genomic science and the realization of enzymes that can handle very demanding chemical environments, such as those present in a biorefinery," said Simmons.

The group plans to expand this research to develop a full complement of enzymes that is tailored for the ionic liquid process technology with the goal of demonstrating a complete biomass-to-sugar process, one they hope can enable the commercial viability of advanced biofuels.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Gilbert
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Gatekeepers: Penn study discovers how microbes make it past tight spaces between cells
2. Striking the right balance: JBEI researchers counteract biofuel toxicity in microbes
3. It takes a community of soil microbes to protect plants from disease
4. Researchers ID microbe responsible for methane from landfills
5. Ecology of microbes focus of workshop
6. This microbes for you: Brewery waste becomes scientific fodder for producing liquid biofuels
7. MIT scientists say ocean currents cause microbes to filter light
8. Everything you wanted to know about microbes and oil spills but were afraid to ask
9. Choosing your neighbors: MBL scientists see how microbes relate in space
10. SRNL demonstrating low-energy remediation with patented microbes
11. Tracing microbes between individuals towards personalized oral health care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Salt-loving microbe provides new enzymes for the production of next-gen biofuels
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Executives ... the world’s most progressive pharma and biotech organizations to do more clinical trials ... and biotech events in Q4. , DrugDev will demonstrate DrugDev Spark™, the world’s ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... earlier this month. The organization, a worldwide society of professional women with high ... venue to hold its annual dinner. , Twelve members began with an ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... appointed Vishwas Paralkar to the role of chief scientific officer. In this role, ... report to Cybrexa’s president and CEO, Per Hellsund. , “I was impressed with ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc. ... , a provider of whole slide imaging solutions, are hosting a pre-conference workshop ... entitled “Successfully Deploying a Best-in-Class Strategy for Digital Pathology,” will feature Proscia CEO, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: