News International Sugar Journal

Microbe that can breakdown lignin holds promise for cellulosic biofuels production [Registered]

In the production of cellulosic biofuels, separating or breaking down lignin to extract cellulose sugars that are bound, is a major challenge. Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have characterized the enzymatic activity of a rain forest microbe that breaks down lignin essentially by breathing it. “Using a combination of transcriptomics and proteomics we observed the anaerobe Enterobacter lignolyticus SCF1 as it grows on lignin,” says the lead researcher Blake Simmons, a chemical engineer who heads JBEI’s Deconstruction Division. “We detected significant lignin degradation over time by absorbance, suggesting that enzymes in E. lignolyticus could be used to deconstruct…

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