News International Sugar Journal

Biosensor that sniffs out bacterial networks that breakdown lignin [Registered]

A new biosensor invented at the University of British Columbia (UBC) could help optimize bio-refining processes that produce fuels, fine chemicals and advanced materials. It works by sniffing out naturally occurring bacterial networks that are genetically wired to break down wood polymer lignin. “Nature has already invented microbial processes to degrade lignin–the tough polymer in wood and plant biomass that currently stymies industrial bio-refining,” says UBC microbiologist Steven Hallam. “We needed to do the detective work, and develop the right toolkit, to isolate these processes in naturally occurring microbial communities from coal beds.” Developed by Hallam and his team, the…

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