News International Sugar Journal

Streptomyces gene regulating lignin degradation identified and “unlocked” [Registered]

One of the key obstacles in the biochemical production of lignocellulosic biofuels is that most microorganisms cannot break down lignin, a highly stable polymer that makes up as much as a third of plant biomass. Streptomyces bacteria are among few microorganisms known to degrade and consume lignin. Now a group of researchers at Brown University have unlocked the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind a key part of that process. The results are published in Nucleic Acids Research (2013 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt009). “Aside from the implications for biotechnology, this work is significant because it yielded fundamental insights into how bacteria control the…

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