Researchers from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and ETH Zürich, Switzerland have discovered the role of three enzymes that are involved in synthesizing a class of natural products.
Lignin is a major lock for lignocellulose valorization in biorefineries, prompting a need to find new ligninolytic systems. Termites are efficient lignocellulose degraders, and a large part of this ability comes from its anaerobic gut microbiome. Now, researchers from France, Japan and the Netherlands have found that microbes from the guts of certain termite species can help break down the tough polymer lignin.
Discovery and engineering of novel cytochrome P450 enzymes for converting lignin into to chemicals [Registered]
Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Montana State University, University of Georgia, the University of California at Los Angeles, Brazil’s University of Campinas, and the United Kingdom’s University of Portsmouth.have discovered and characterized a new family of cytochrome P450 enzymes that is critical to improving the conversion of lignin into high value platform chemicals.
By studying and comparing the workhorse cellulose-degrading enzymes of two fungi, researchers from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have pinpointed regions on these enzymes that can be targeted via genetic engineering to help break down cellulose faster.
Novozymes recently announced the acquisition of microbial research company Organobalance GmbH for an undisclosed amount.
The research is part of ongoing study of a recently discovered family of enzymes produced by fungi and bacteria, which are able to break down cellulose.
A team of researchers from five institutions analyzed the ability of six microorganisms to solubilize potential bioenergy feedstocks such as switchgrass that have evolved strong defenses against biological and chemical attack. Solubilization prepares the plant feedstocks for subsequent fermentation and, ultimately, use as fuel. The paper, published in Biotechnology for Biofuels, is the most comprehensive comparative study of its type to date.
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden discovered how enzymes can perform their catalytical processes in a switchable ionic liquid, paving way for converting cellulose to valuable molecules and industrial products.
Findings published in the journal ChemSusChem.
Ionic liquids are salts in fluid form at room temperature – compared with regular cooking salt, sodium chloride, which melts at 800°C. This characteristic means that ionic liquids properties make them useful solvents.
Researchers discovered that hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin can be selectively separated and dissolved using a new type of so-called switchable ionic liquid. Further, enzymes can function in this particular ionic liquid.
“Our discovery is a scientific breakthrough! This is the launch that enables us to extract small key molecules directly from wood,” said the lead researcher Magnus Wolf-Watz.