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Biotechnology for Biofuels

Ximing Zhang, Tianjiao Qu, Nathan S Mosier, Lujia Han, Weihua Xiao
Background: The invention of efficient systems for lignocellulose conversion is essential for economically feasible production of bio-based chemicals and biofuels. One limiting step is highly selective processes to quickly decrystallize the compact cellulose structure for efficient hydrolysis. We evaluated the impact of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and phosphorous acid (PA)-induced swelling of crystalline cellulose on enhancement of enzymatic digestion. Results: In this study, two swelling agents, TFA and PA, are compared and found to be highly efficient for cellulose decrystallization at low temperatures within 1 h...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Xi Chen, Zhipeng Li, Ning He, Yanmei Zheng, Heng Li, Haitao Wang, Yuanpeng Wang, Yinghua Lu, Qingbiao Li, YaJuan Peng
Background: With the further development of anaerobic digestion, an increasing output of anaerobically digested wastewater (ADW), which typically contained high concentrations of ammonium, phosphate, and suspended solids, was inevitable. Microalgae cultivation offered a potential waste-to-value strategy to reduce the high nutrient content in ADW and obtain high value-added microalgae. However, ADW generally contained a mass of pollutants (suspended solids, competitors, etc.), which could inhibit microalgae growth and even result in microalgae death by limiting light utilization...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Deanne W Sammond, Noah Kastelowitz, Bryon S Donohoe, Markus Alahuhta, Vladimir V Lunin, Daehwan Chung, Nicholas S Sarai, Hang Yin, Ashutosh Mittal, Michael E Himmel, Adam M Guss, Yannick J Bomble
Background: Strategies for maximizing the microbial production of bio-based chemicals and fuels include eliminating branched points to streamline metabolic pathways. While this is often achieved by removing key enzymes, the introduction of nonnative enzymes can provide metabolic shortcuts, bypassing branched points to decrease the production of undesired side-products. Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) can provide such a shortcut in industrially promising thermophilic organisms; yet to date, this enzyme has not been found in any thermophilic organism...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Artnice Mega Fathima, Derrick Chuang, Walter Alvarez Laviña, James Liao, Sastia Prama Putri, Eiichiro Fukusaki
Background: Metabolomics is the comprehensive study of metabolites that can demonstrate the downstream effects of gene and protein regulation, arguably representing the closest correlation with phenotypic features. Hence, metabolomics-driven approach offers an effective way to facilitate strain improvement. Previously, targeted metabolomics on the 1-butanol-producing cyanobacterial strain Synechococcus elongatus BUOHSE has revealed the reduction step from butanoyl-CoA to butanal, catalyzed by CoA-acylating propionaldehyde dehydrogenase (PduP), as a rate-limiting step in the CoA-dependent pathway...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jia Wu, Samuel R A Collins, Adam Elliston, Nikolaus Wellner, Jo Dicks, Ian N Roberts, Keith W Waldron
Background: Rice husk and rice straw represent promising sources of biomass for production of renewable fuels and chemicals. For efficient utilisation, lignocellulosic components must first be pretreated to enable efficient enzymatic saccharification and subsequent fermentation. Existing pretreatments create breakdown products such as sugar-derived furans, and lignin-derived phenolics that inhibit enzymes and fermenting organisms. Alkali pretreatments have also been shown to release significant levels of simple, free phenolics such as ferulic acid that are normally esterified to cell wall polysaccharides in the intact plant...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chen Chen, Jinyin Chen, Zhigang Geng, Meixia Wang, Ning Liu, Duochuan Li
Background: Polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs) of the auxiliary activity 9 (AA9) family have been reported to oxidize C1, C4, and C6 positions in cellulose. However, currently no direct evidence exists that PMOs oxidize C6 positions in cellulose, and molecular mechanism of C1, C4 and C6 oxidation is unclear. Results: In this study, a PMO gene ( Ctpmo1 ) belonging to AA9 was isolated from Chaetomium thermophilum and successfully expressed and correctly processed in Pichia pastoris ...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Madan Kumar, Sandhya Verma, Rajesh Kumar Gazara, Manish Kumar, Ashok Pandey, Praveen Kumar Verma, Indu Shekhar Thakur
Background: Lignin is a major component of plant biomass and is recalcitrant to degradation due to its complex and heterogeneous aromatic structure. The biomass-based research mainly focuses on polysaccharides component of biomass and lignin is discarded as waste with very limited usage. The sustainability and success of plant polysaccharide-based biorefinery can be possible if lignin is utilized in improved ways and with minimal waste generation. Discovering new microbial strains and understanding their enzyme system for lignin degradation are necessary for its conversion into fuel and chemicals...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Felipe A M Reinoso, Jorge Rencoret, Ana Gutiérrez, Adriane M F Milagres, José C Del Río, André Ferraz
Background: Preparing multiple products from lignocellulosic biomass feedstock enhances the profit and sustainability of future biorefineries. Grasses are suitable feedstocks for biorefineries as they permit a variety of possible by-products due to their particular chemical characteristics and morphology. Elucidating the fate of p -hydroxycinnamates (ferulates-FAs and p -coumarates- p CAs) and major structural components during bioprocessing helps to discriminate the sources of recalcitrance in grasses and paves the way for the recovery of p -hydroxycinnamates, which have multiple applications...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Milla Salmela, Tapio Lehtinen, Elena Efimova, Suvi Santala, Rahul Mangayil
Background: The versatility of microbial metabolic pathways enables their utilization in vast number of applications. However, the electron and carbon recovery rates, essentially constrained by limitations of cell energetics, are often too low in terms of process feasibility. Cocultivation of divergent microbial species in a single process broadens the metabolic landscape, and thus, the possibilities for more complete carbon and energy utilization. Results: In this study, we integrated the metabolisms of two bacteria, an obligate anaerobe Clostridium butyricum and an obligate aerobe Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Shailesh Kumar Patidar, Sae-Hee Kim, Jin Ho Kim, Jungsoo Park, Bum Soo Park, Myung-Soo Han
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1186/s13068-018-1097-9.].
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Sheeja Jagadevan, Avik Banerjee, Chiranjib Banerjee, Chandan Guria, Rameshwar Tiwari, Mehak Baweja, Pratyoosh Shukla
In the wake of the uprising global energy crisis, microalgae have emerged as an alternate feedstock for biofuel production. In addition, microalgae bear immense potential as bio-cell factories in terms of producing key chemicals, recombinant proteins, enzymes, lipid, hydrogen and alcohol. Abstraction of such high-value products (algal biorefinery approach) facilitates to make microalgae-based renewable energy an economically viable option. Synthetic biology is an emerging field that harmoniously blends science and engineering to help design and construct novel biological systems, with an aim to achieve rationally formulated objectives...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Cristina Gonzalez-Fernandez, Santiago Barreiro-Vescovo, Ignacio de Godos, Maikel Fernandez, Arbib Zouhayr, Mercedes Ballesteros
Background: Microalgae biomass is regarded as a potential feedstock for bioenergy purposes through anaerobic digestion (AD). Even though AD is a well-proven technology, the use of new feedstocks requires in-depth studies. A lot of research has been conducted assessing methane yield without paying attention to the anaerobic microbiome and their activities. For such a goal, the present investigation was designed to link methane yield to those two later sludge characteristics. In this sense, different anaerobic sources were tested, namely adapted to microalgae biomass and adapted to sewage sludge...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Arul M Varman, Rhiannon Follenfant, Fang Liu, Ryan W Davis, Yone K Lin, Seema Singh
Background: Engineering strategies to create promoters that are both higher strength and tunable in the presence of inexpensive compounds are of high importance to develop metabolic engineering technologies that can be commercialized. Lignocellulosic biomass stands out as the most abundant renewable feedstock for the production of biofuels and chemicals. However, lignin a major polymeric component of the biomass is made up of aromatic units and remains as an untapped resource. Novel synthetic biology tools for the expression of heterologous proteins are critical for the effective engineering of a microbe to valorize lignin...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Liandong Zhu, Zhaohua Li, Erkki Hiltunen
Background: Microalgal biomass harvesting using traditional chemicals is costly for the production of biofuels, hindering the scale-up process of the technology. Thus, the search for a cost-effective microalgal harvesting method is extremely important. Using chitosan as a natural flocculant to harvest microalgal biomass seems to be an efficient and convenient solution. Although microalgal biomass flocculation by chitosan has been reported in some previous studies, literature on the harvesting of microalgae C...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jinjin Huang, Zhen Yang, Ruiyan Zhu, Xinxin Qian, Yaqiu Wang, Ying Li, Jilun Li
Background: Astaxanthin, a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment molecule, displays strong antioxidant, anti-cancer, and immunity-enhancing properties, and is often utilized in food, biomedical, cosmetic, and other industries. Free astaxanthin has better solubility than astaxanthin esters (Ast-E), and is a useful auxiliary ingredient in health foods and medicines. Our goal was to establish an improved enzymatic method for preparation of free astaxanthin from natural sources (e.g., the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis ), to expand the potential applications of free astaxanthin...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jun Ishii, Keisuke Morita, Kengo Ida, Hiroko Kato, Shohei Kinoshita, Shoko Hataya, Hiroshi Shimizu, Akihiko Kondo, Fumio Matsuda
Background: The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a promising host cell for producing a wide range of chemicals. However, attempts to metabolically engineer Crabtree-positive S. cerevisiae invariably face a common issue: how to reduce dominant ethanol production. Here, we propose a yeast metabolic engineering strategy for decreasing ethanol subgeneration involving tugging the carbon flux at an important hub branching point (e.g., pyruvate). Tugging flux at a central glycolytic overflow metabolism point arising from high glycolytic activity may substantially increase higher alcohol production in S...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Alei Zhang, Yumei He, Guoguang Wei, Jie Zhou, Weiliang Dong, Kequan Chen, Pingkai Ouyang
Background: N -acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc) possesses many bioactivities that have been used widely in many fields. The enzymatic production of GlcNAc is eco-friendly, with high yields and a mild production process compared with the traditional chemical process. Therefore, it is crucial to discover a better chitinase for GlcNAc production from chitin. Results: A novel chitinase gene ( Cmchi1 ) cloned from Chitinolyticbacter meiyuanensis SYBC-H1 and expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) cells...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Yu Zhang, Changlei Xia, Mingming Lu, Maobing Tu
Background: Biomass prehydrolysates from dilute acid pretreatment contain a considerable amount of fermentable sugars for biofuels production. However, carbonyl degradation compounds present severe toxicity to fermentation microbes. Furans (such as furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural), aliphatic acids (such as acetic acid, formic acid and levulinic acid) and phenolic compounds (such as vanillin and syringaldehyde) have been suggested to be the main inhibitors in biomass prehydrolysates...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Lin Xu, Lian Wang, Xue-Rong Zhou, Wen-Chao Chen, Surinder Singh, Zhe Hu, Feng-Hong Huang, Xia Wan
Background: Triacylglycerols (TAGs) rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs, C10-14 fatty acids) are valuable feedstocks for biofuels and chemicals. Natural sources of TAGs rich in MCFAs are restricted to a limited number of plant species, which are unsuitable for mass agronomic production. Instead, the modification of seed or non-seed tissue oils to increase MCFA content has been investigated. In addition, microbial oils are considered as promising sustainable feedstocks for providing TAGs, although little has been done to tailor the fatty acids in microbial TAGs...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Tadashi Toyama, Mari Kasuya, Tsubasa Hanaoka, Naoto Kobayashi, Yasuhiro Tanaka, Daisuke Inoue, Kazunari Sei, Masaaki Morikawa, Kazuhiro Mori
Background: Microalgae are a promising biomass feedstock for biofuels production. The use of wastewater effluent as a nutrient medium would improve the economics of microalgal biofuels production. Bacterial communities in aquatic environments may either stimulate or inhibit microalgal growth. Microalgal productivity could be enhanced if the positive effects of indigenous bacteria could be exploited. However, much is unknown about the effects of indigenous bacteria on microalgal growth and the characteristics of bacterial communities associated with microalgae in microalgae-effluent culture...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
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