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Novel bacterial enzymes for plant biomass degradation discovered by metagenomics

One step closer to use of most abundant carbon source as a renewable resource

Lignocellulosic plant biomass is the most abundant carbon source and has consequently attracted attention as a renewable resource for the industrial purposes such as biofuels and other chemicals. Still the degradation of lignocellulose process is economically not fit enough to compete with the use of fossil resources, and the costs associated with enzymatic hydrolysis are the major obstacle. Indeed, we know that there are different microbiomes that produces such enzymes for the plant biomass degradation. However, the availability of cultivable methods to grow the microbes in-house is still challenging.

Mukil Marutha Muthu investigated the different (hemi)cellulolytic enzymes from the wheat straw degrading microbial consortia that can be used to improve the catalytic activity of commercially available enzyme cocktails to support industrial needs.The metagenomics approach contributes with high impact to recover novel enzymes from the complex microbial environment for the lignocellulose degradation processes.

Link to dissertation