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Critical Reviews in Biotechnology

Fengxue Xin, Weiliang Dong, Yujia Jiang, Jiangfeng Ma, Wenming Zhang, Hao Wu, Min Zhang, Min Jiang
Butanol is an important bulk chemical and has been regarded as an advanced biofuel. Large-scale production of butanol has been applied for more than 100 years, but its production through acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process by solventogenic Clostridium species is still not economically viable due to the low butanol titer and yield caused by the toxicity of butanol and a by-product, such as acetone. Renewed interest in biobutanol as a biofuel has spurred technological advances to strain modification and fermentation process design...
September 14, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Xiaomin Gong, Danlian Huang, Yunguo Liu, Zhiwei Peng, Guangming Zeng, Piao Xu, Min Cheng, Rongzhong Wang, Jia Wan
Soil contamination caused by heavy metals and organic pollutants has drawn world-wide concern. Biotechnology has been applied for many years to the decontamination of soils polluted with organic and inorganic contaminants, and novel nanomaterials (NMs) has attracted much concern due to their high capacity for the removal/stabilization/degradation of pollutants. Recently, developing advanced biotechnology with NMs for the remediation of contaminated soils has become a hot research topic. Some researchers found that bioremediation efficiency of contaminated soils was enhanced by the addition of NMs, while others demonstrated that the toxicity of NMs to the organism negatively influenced the repair capacity of polluted soils...
September 13, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Julien Barthes, Sait Ciftci, Florian Ponzio, Helena Knopf-Marques, Liza Pelyhe, Alexandru Gudima, Imre Kientzl, Eszter Bognár, Miklós Weszl, Julia Kzhyshkowska, Nihal Engin Vrana
In many biomedical applications, titanium forms an interface with tissues, which is crucial to ensure its long-term stability and safety. In order to exert control over this process, titanium implants have been treated with various methods that induce physicochemical changes at nano and microscales. In the past 20 years, most of the studies have been conducted to see the effect of topographical and physicochemical changes of titanium surface after surface treatments on cells behavior and bacteria adhesion...
September 7, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Vivek K Bajpai, Vishal Chandra, Na-Hyung Kim, Rajni Rai, Pradeep Kumar, Kangmin Kim, Abhinav Aeron, Sun Chul Kang, D K Maheshwari, MinKyun Na, Irfan A Rather, Yong-Ha Park
The Zika virus (ZIKV) used to be an obscure flavivirus closely related to dengue virus (DENV). Transmission of this epidemic pathogen occurs mainly via mosquitoes, but it is also capable of placental and sexual transmission. Although the characteristics of these viruses are well defined, infections are unpredictable in terms of disease severity, unusual clinical manifestations, unexpected methods of transmission, long-term persistence, and the development of new strains. Recently, ZIKV has gained huge medical attention following the large-scale epidemics around the world, and reported cases of congenital abnormalities associated with Zika virus infections which have created a public health emergency of international concern...
September 7, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Avik Banerjee, Chiranjib Banerjee, Sangeeta Negi, Jo-Shu Chang, Pratyoosh Shukla
BACKGROUND: In the wake of rising energy demands, microalgae have emerged as potential sources of sustainable and renewable carbon-neutral fuels, such as bio-hydrogen and bio-oil. PURPOSE: For rational metabolic engineering, the elucidation of metabolic pathways in fine detail and their manipulation according to requirements is the key to exploiting the use of microalgae. Emergence of site-specific nucleases have revolutionized applied research leading to biotechnological gains...
August 9, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Patrick J Kennedy, Carla Oliveira, Pedro L Granja, Bruno Sarmento
Antibodies are essential in modern life sciences biotechnology. Their architecture and diversity allow for high specificity and affinity to a wide array of biochemicals. Combining monoclonal antibody (mAb) technology with recombinant DNA and protein expression links antibody genotype with phenotype. Yet, the ability to select and screen for high affinity binders from recombinantly-displayed, combinatorial libraries unleashes the true power of mAbs and a flood of clinical applications. The identification of novel antibodies can be accomplished by a myriad of in vitro display technologies from the proven (e...
August 8, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Fabiano Jares Contesini, Ricardo Rodrigues de Melo, Hélia Harumi Sato
Proteases have a broad range of applications in industrial processes and products and are representative of most worldwide enzyme sales. The genus Bacillus is probably the most important bacterial source of proteases and is capable of producing high yields of neutral and alkaline proteolytic enzymes with remarkable properties, such as high stability towards extreme temperatures, pH, organic solvents, detergents and oxidizing compounds. Therefore, several strategies have been developed for the cost-effective production of Bacillus proteases, including optimization of the fermentation parameters...
August 8, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ba Thanh Ho, Timothy K Roberts, Steven Lucas
Polystyrene is a widely used plastic in many aspects of human life and in industries due to its useful characteristics of low cost, light weight, ease of manufacture, versatility, thermal efficiency, durability, and moisture resistance. However, polystyrene is very stable and extremely hard to degrade in the environment after disposal. Polystyrene can be used as a carbon source for microorganisms similar to many other hydrocarbons. The ability of microorganisms to use polystyrene as a carbon source has been recently established...
August 1, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Yimin Chen, Changan Xu, Seetharaman Vaidyanathan
Microalgae are a potential candidate for biofuel production and environmental treatment because of their specific characteristics (e.g. fast growth, carbon neutral, and rich lipid accumulations). However, several primary bottlenecks still exist in current technologies, including low biomass conversion efficiency, bio-invasion from the external environment, limited or costly nutrient sources, and high energy and capital input for harvest, and stalling its industrial progression. Coupling biofuel production with environmental treatment renders microalgae a more feasible feedstock...
August 1, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Carla Silva, Madalena Martins, Su Jing, Jiajia Fu, Artur Cavaco-Paulo
Enzymes are efficient catalysts designed by nature to work in physiological environments of living systems. The best operational conditions to access and convert substrates at the industrial level are different from nature and normally extreme. Strategies to isolate enzymes from extremophiles can redefine new operational conditions, however not always solving all industrial requirements. The stability of enzymes is therefore a key issue on the implementation of the catalysts in industrial processes which require the use of extreme environments that can undergo enzyme instability...
August 1, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Jing Su, Jiajia Fu, Qiang Wang, Carla Silva, Artur Cavaco-Paulo
Laccases (benzene diol: oxidoreductases, EC are able to catalyze the oxidation of various compounds containing phenolic and aniline structures using dissolved oxygen in water. Laccase structural features and catalytic mechanisms focused on the polymerization of aromatic compounds are reported. A description about the most recent research on the biosynthesis of chemicals and polymers is made. Selected applications of this technology are considered as well as the advantages, shortcomings and future needs related with the use of laccases...
July 24, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Nor Hasmaliana Abdul Manas, Rosli Md Illias, Nor Muhammad Mahadi
BACKGROUND: The increasing market demand for oligosaccharides has intensified the need for efficient biocatalysts. Glycosyl hydrolases (GHs) are still gaining popularity as biocatalyst for oligosaccharides synthesis owing to its simple reaction and high selectivity. PURPOSE: Over the years, research has advanced mainly directing to one goal; to reduce hydrolysis activity of GHs for increased transglycosylation activity in achieving high production of oligosaccharides...
July 6, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Jean-Baptiste Ledoux, Agostinho Antunes
Marine natural products (NPs) represent an impressive source of novel bioactive molecules with major biotechnological applications. Nevertheless, the usual chemical and applied perspective leading most of bioprospecting projects come along with various limitations blurring our understanding of the extensive marine chemical diversity. Here, we propose several guidelines: (i) to optimize bioprospecting and (ii) to refine our knowledge on marine chemical ecology focusing on octocorals, one of the most promising sources of marine NPs...
June 26, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ellis C O'Neill, Steven Kelly
The photosynthetic, autotrophic lifestyle of plants and algae position them as ideal platform organisms for sustainable production of biomolecules. However, their use in industrial biotechnology is limited in comparison to heterotrophic organisms, such as bacteria and yeast. This usage gap is in part due to the challenges in generating genetically modified plants and algae and in part due to the difficulty in the development of synthetic biology tools for manipulating gene expression in these systems. Plant and algal metabolism, pre-installed with multiple biosynthetic modules for precursor compounds, bypasses the requirement to install these pathways in conventional production organisms, and creates new opportunities for the industrial production of complex molecules...
September 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Anita Kumari, Dharam Singh, Sanjay Kumar
Podophyllotoxin is an aryltetralin lignan synthesized in several plant species, which is used in chemotherapies for cancers and tumor treatment. More potent semisynthetic derivatives of podophyllotoxin such as etoposide and teniposide are being developed and evaluated for their efficacy. To meet the ever increasing pharmaceutical needs, species having podophyllotoxin are uprooted extensively leading to the endangered status of selective species mainly Sinopodophyllum hexandrum. This has necessitated bioprospection of podophyllotoxin from different plant species to escalate the strain on this endangered species...
September 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Xianshao Zou, Tingting Pan, Lei Chen, Yanqing Tian, Weiwen Zhang
Luminescence including fluorescence and phosphorescence sensors have been demonstrated to be important for studying cell metabolism, and diagnosing diseases and cancer. Various design principles have been employed for the development of sensors in different formats, such as organic molecules, polymers, polymeric hydrogels, and nanoparticles. The integration of the sensing with fluorescence imaging provides valuable tools for biomedical research and applications at not only bulk-cell level but also at single-cell level...
September 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Kajan Srirangan, Mark Bruder, Lamees Akawi, Dragan Miscevic, Shane Kilpatrick, Murray Moo-Young, C Perry Chou
Diminishing fossil fuel reserves and mounting environmental concerns associated with petrochemical manufacturing practices have generated significant interests in developing whole-cell biocatalytic systems for the production of value-added chemicals and biofuels. Although acetyl-CoA is a common natural biogenic precursor for the biosynthesis of numerous metabolites, propionyl-CoA is unpopular and non-native to most organisms. Nevertheless, with its C3-acyl moiety as a discrete building block, propionyl-CoA can serve as another key biogenic precursor to several biological products of industrial importance...
September 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Victor P Bulgakov, Tatiana V Avramenko, Gurami Sh Tsitsiashvili
Anthocyanin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis is a convenient and relatively simple model for investigating the basic principles of secondary metabolism regulation. In recent years, many publications have described links between anthocyanin biosynthesis and general defense reactions in plants as well as photomorphogenesis and hormonal signaling. These relationships are complex, and they cannot be understood intuitively. Upon observing the lacuna in the Arabidopsis interactome (an interaction map of the factors involved in the regulation of Arabidopsis secondary metabolism is not available), we attempted to connect various cellular processes that affect anthocyanin biosynthesis...
September 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Pranav D Pathak, Sachin A Mandavgane, Nikhil Manoj Puranik, Swapnil Jaygopal Jambhulkar, Bhaskar D Kulkarni
Potato is the fourth main crop consumed worldwide and is an important constituent in the human diet. Consequently, potato is widely used in food-processing industries. However, these industries generate massive amounts of potato peel (PP) as a by-product, which is usually considered a waste, and is discarded. Interestingly, recent research suggests that PP is a valuable source of bioactive compounds, which can be converted into value-added products. In this study, we review the physicochemical composition and valorization of PP...
June 14, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Daniel J Krasznai, Rachel Champagne Hartley, Hannah M Roy, Pascale Champagne, Michael F Cunningham
The composition and structural properties of lignocellulosic biomass have significant effects on its downstream conversion to fuels, biomaterials, and building-block chemicals. Specifically, the recalcitrance to modification and compositional variability of lignocellulose make it challenging to optimize and control the conditions under which the conversion takes place. Various characterization protocols have been developed over the past 150 years to elucidate the structural properties and compositional patterns that affect the processing of lignocellulose...
June 8, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
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