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Biotechnology for Biofuels

Annalisa Abdel Azim, Simon K-M R Rittmann, Debora Fino, Günther Bochmann
Background: Methanogenic archaea are of importance to the global C-cycle and to biological methane (CH4 ) production through anaerobic digestion and pure culture. Here, the individual and combined effects of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), acetate, and propionate on the metabolism of the autotrophic, hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanococcus maripaludis S2 were investigated. Cu, Zn, acetate, and propionate may interfere directly and indirectly with the acetyl-CoA synthesis and biological CH4 production...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Ya-Jun Liu, Kuan Qi, Jie Zhang, Chao Chen, Qiu Cui, Yingang Feng
Background: Bacterial insertion sequences (ISs) are ubiquitous mobile genetic elements that play important roles in genome plasticity, cell adaptability, and function evolution. ISs of various families and subgroups contain significantly diverse molecular features and functional mechanisms that are not fully understood. Results: IS 1447 is a member of the widespread IS 3 family and was previously detected to have transposing activity in a typical thermophilic and cellulolytic microorganism Clostridium thermocellum ...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Dayu Yu, Xiaoning Wang, Xue Fan, Huimin Ren, Shuang Hu, Lei Wang, Yunfen Shi, Na Liu, Nan Qiao
Background: The release of refined soybean oil wastewater (RSOW) with a high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and oil content burdens the environment. The conversion of RSOW into lipids by oleaginous yeasts may be a good way to turn this waste into usable products. Results: The oleaginous yeast Trichosporon fermentans was used for treating the RSOW without sterilization, dilution, or nutrient supplementation. It was found that the COD and oil content of the RSOW were removed effectively; microbial oil was abundantly produced in 48 h; and the phospholipids in the RSOW tended to contribute to a higher biomass and microbial lipid content...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Fengcheng Li, Sitong Liu, Hai Xu, Quan Xu
Background: Rice not only produces grains for human beings, but also provides large amounts of lignocellulose residues, which recently highlighted as feedstock for biofuel production. Genetic modification of plant cell walls can potentially enhance biomass saccharification; however, it remains a challenge to maintain a normal growth with enhanced lodging resistance in rice. Results: In this study, rice ( Oryza sativa ) mutant fc17 , which harbors the substitution (F426S) at the plant-conserved region (P-CR) of cellulose synthase 4 (CESA4) protein, exhibited slightly affected plant growth and 17% higher lodging resistance compared to the wild-type...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Madhu Nair Muraleedharan, Dimitrios Zouraris, Antonis Karantonis, Evangelos Topakas, Mats Sandgren, Ulrika Rova, Paul Christakopoulos, Anthi Karnaouri
Background: Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper-dependent enzymes that oxidatively cleave recalcitrant lignocellulose in the presence of oxygen or hydrogen peroxide as co-substrate and a reducing agent as electron donor. One of the possible systems that provide electrons to the LPMOs active site and promote the polysaccharide degradation involves the mediation of phenolic agents, such as lignin, low-molecular-weight lignin-derived compounds and other plant phenols. In the present work, the interaction of the bulk insoluble lignin fraction extracted from pretreated biomass with LPMOs and the ability to provide electrons to the active site of the enzymes is studied...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Anthony P Neumann, Paul J Weimer, Garret Suen
Background: Cellulose is the most abundant biological polymer on earth, making it an attractive substrate for the production of next-generation biofuels and commodity chemicals. However, the economics of cellulose utilization are currently unfavorable due to a lack of efficient methods for its hydrolysis. Fibrobacter succinogenes strain S85, originally isolated from the bovine rumen, is among the most actively cellulolytic mesophilic bacteria known, producing succinate as its major fermentation product...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Wenzhao Wu, Christos T Maravelias
Background: Recent advances in metabolic engineering enable the production of chemicals from sugars through microbial bio-conversion. Terpenes have attracted substantial attention due to their relatively high prices and wide applications in different industries. To this end, we synthesize and assess processes for microbial production of terpenes. Results: To explain a counterintuitive experimental phenomenon where terpenes such as limonene (normal boiling point 176 °C) are often found to be 100% present in the vapor phase after bio-conversion (operating at only ~ 30 °C), we first analyze the vapor-liquid equilibrium for systems containing terpenes...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Casey A Hooker, Ethan T Hillman, Jonathan C Overton, Adrian Ortiz-Velez, Makayla Schacht, Abigail Hunnicutt, Nathan S Mosier, Kevin V Solomon
Background: Plant biomass is an abundant but underused feedstock for bioenergy production due to its complex and variable composition, which resists breakdown into fermentable sugars. These feedstocks, however, are routinely degraded by many uncommercialized microbes such as anaerobic gut fungi. These gut fungi express a broad range of carbohydrate active enzymes and are native to the digestive tracts of ruminants and hindgut fermenters. In this study, we examine gut fungal performance on these substrates as a function of composition, and the ability of this isolate to degrade inhibitory high syringyl lignin-containing forestry residues...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chaobing Luo, Yuanqiu Li, Hong Liao, Yaojun Yang
Background: The bamboo weevil Cyrtotrachelus buqueti , which is considered a pest species, damages bamboo shoots via its piercing-sucking mode of feeding. C. buqueti is well known for its ability to transform bamboo shoot biomass into nutrients and energy for growth, development and reproduction with high specificity and efficacy of bioconversion. Woody bamboo is a perennial grass that is a potential feedstock for lignocellulosic biomass because of its high growth rate and lignocellulose content...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chengcheng Li, Fengming Lin, Wei Sun, Shaoxun Yuan, Zhihua Zhou, Fu-Gen Wu, Zhan Chen
Background: In addition to its outstanding cellulase production ability, Trichoderma reesei produces a wide variety of valuable secondary metabolites, the production of which has not received much attention to date. Among them, sorbicillinoids, a large group of hexaketide secondary metabolites derived from polyketides, are drawing a growing interest from researchers because they exhibit a variety of important biological functions, including anticancer, antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jiangang Yang, Yueming Zhu, Ge Qu, Yan Zeng, Chaoyu Tian, Caixia Dong, Yan Men, Longhai Dai, Zhoutong Sun, Yuanxia Sun, Yanhe Ma
Background: Asymmetric aldol-type C-C bond formation with ketones used as electrophilic receptor remains a challenging reaction for aldolases as biocatalysts. To date, only one kind of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP)-dependent aldolases has been discovered and applied to synthesize branched-chain sugars directly using DHAP and dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as substrate. However, the unstable and high-cost properties of DHAP limit large-scale application. Therefore, biosynthesis of branched-chain sugar from low-cost and abundant carbon sources is essential...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Tiago de Assis, Shixin Huang, Carlos Eduardo Driemeier, Bryon S Donohoe, Chaehoon Kim, Seong H Kim, Ronalds Gonzalez, Hasan Jameel, Sunkyu Park
Background: Mechanical refining is a low-capital and well-established technology used in pulp and paper industry to improve fiber bonding for product strength. Refining can also be applied in a biorefinery context to overcome the recalcitrance of pretreated biomass by opening up the biomass structure and modifying substrate properties (e.g., morphology, particle size, porosity, crystallinity), which increases enzyme accessibility to substrate and improves carbohydrate conversion. Although several characterization methods have been used to identify the changes in substrate properties, there is no systematic approach to evaluate the extent of fiber cell wall disruption and what physical properties can explain the improvement in enzymatic digestibility when pretreated lignocellulosic biomass is mechanically refined...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Angel Angelov, Maria Übelacker, Wolfgang Liebl
Background: Aliphatic hydrocarbons of microbial origin are highly interesting candidate biofuels because these molecules are identical or very similar to the main components of petroleum-based gasoline and diesel fuels. The high-GC Gram-positive bacterium Micrococcus luteus is capable of naturally synthesizing long-chain, iso - and anteiso -branched alkenes which are formed via the head-to-head condensation of fatty acid thioesters by a dedicated enzyme system. The present study describes the relation we observed between olefin production and cell buoyancy in Micrococcus luteus and the use of this phenotype to simply and efficiently separate cells from a mixture based on their hydrocarbon content...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Hui-Tse Yu, Bo-Yu Chen, Bing-Yi Li, Mei-Chun Tseng, Chien-Chung Han, Shin-Guang Shyu
Background: Pretreatment of biomass to maximize the recovery of fermentable sugars as well as to minimize the amount of enzyme inhibitors formed during the pretreatment is a challenge in biofuel process. We develop a modified Fenton pretreatment in a mixed solvent (water/DMSO) to combine the advantages of organosolv and Fenton pretreatments. The hemicellulose and cellulose in corncob were effectively degraded into xylose, glucose, and soluble glucose oligomers in a few hours. This saccharide solution, separated from the solid lignin simply by filtration, can be directly applied to the subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Huidong Chen, Di Cai, Changjing Chen, Jianhong Wang, Peiyong Qin, Tianwei Tan
Background: One of the major obstacles of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation from renewable biomass resources is the energy-intensive separation process. To decrease the energy demand of the ABE downstream separation processes, hybrid in situ separation system with conventional distillation is recognized as an effective method. However, in the distillation processes, the high reflux ratio of the ethanol column and the accumulation of ethanol on top of the water and butanol columns led to poor controllability and high operation cost of the distillations...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chun-Li Liu, Tian Tian, Jorge Alonso-Gutierrez, Brett Garabedian, Shuai Wang, Edward E K Baidoo, Veronica Benites, Yan Chen, Christopher J Petzold, Paul D Adams, Jay D Keasling, Tianwei Tan, Taek Soon Lee
Background: Aviation fuels are an important target of biofuels research due to their high market demand and competitive price. Isoprenoids have been demonstrated as good feedstocks for advanced renewable jet fuels with high energy density, high heat of combustion, and excellent cold-weather performance. In particular, sesquiterpene compounds (C15 ), such as farnesene and bisabolene, have been identified as promising jet fuel candidates. Results: In this study, we explored three sesquiterpenes-epi-isozizaene, pentalenene and α-isocomene-as novel jet fuel precursors...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Adèle Lazuka, Lucas Auer, Michael O'Donohue, Guillermina Hernandez-Raquet
Background: Lignocellulose is the most abundant renewable carbon resource that can be used for biofuels and commodity chemicals production. The ability of complex microbial communities present in natural environments that are specialized in biomass deconstruction can be exploited to develop lignocellulose bioconversion processes. Termites are among the most abundant insects on earth and play an important role in lignocellulose decomposition. Although their digestive microbiome is recognized as a potential reservoir of microorganisms producing lignocellulolytic enzymes, the potential to enrich and maintain the lignocellulolytic activity of microbial consortia derived from termite gut useful for lignocellulose biorefinery has not been assessed...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Dongdong Chang, Zhisheng Yu, Zia Ul Islam, W Todd French, Yiming Zhang, Hongxun Zhang
Background: Toxic compounds present in both the hydrolysate and pyrolysate of lignocellulosic biomass severely hinder the further conversion of lignocellulose-derived fermentable sugars into useful chemicals by common biocatalysts like Zymomonas mobilis , which has remarkable advantages over yeast. Although the extra detoxification treatment prior to fermentation process can help biocatalysts to eliminate the inhibitory environment, it is not environment friendly and cost effective for industrial application...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Damien Biot-Pelletier, Dominic Pinel, Kane Larue, Vincent J J Martin
Background: Genome shuffling (GS) is a widely adopted methodology for the evolutionary engineering of desirable traits in industrially relevant microorganisms. We have previously used genome shuffling to generate a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is tolerant to the growth inhibitors found in a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. In this study, we expand on previous work by performing a population-wide genomic survey of our genome shuffling experiment and dissecting the molecular determinants of the evolved phenotype...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Eoin Byrne, Krisztina Kovacs, Ed W J van Niel, Karin Willquist, Sven-Erik Svensson, Emma Kreuger
Background: Current EU directives demand increased use of renewable fuels in the transportation sector but restrict governmental support for production of biofuels produced from crops. The use of intercropped lucerne and wheat may comply with the directives. In the current study, the combination of ensiled lucerne ( Medicago sativa L.) and wheat straw as substrate for hydrogen and methane production was investigated. Steam-pretreated and enzymatically hydrolysed wheat straw [WSH, 76% of total chemical oxygen demand (COD)] and ensiled lucerne (LH, 24% of total COD) were used for sequential hydrogen production through dark fermentation and methane production through anaerobic digestion and directly for anaerobic digestion...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
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