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Biotechnology for Biofuels

Shaolong Sun, Lidan Zhang, Fang Liu, Xiaolin Fan, Run-Cang Sun
Background: To increase the production of bioethanol, a two-step process based on hydrothermal and dilute alkaline treatment was applied to reduce the natural resistance of biomass. However, the process required a large amount of water and a long operation time due to the solid/liquid separation before the alkaline treatment, which led to decrease the pure economic profit for production of bioethanol. Therefore, four one-step processes based on order of hydrothermal and alkaline treatment have been developed to enhance concentration of glucose of wheat straw by enzymatic saccharification...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Feng Ju, Yubo Wang, Tong Zhang
Background: Methanogenic biodegradation of aromatic compounds depends on syntrophic metabolism. However, metabolic enzymes and pathways of uncultured microorganisms and their ecological interactions with methanogenic consortia are unknown because of their resistance to isolation and limited genomic information. Results: Genome-resolved metagenomics approaches were used to reconstruct and dissect 23 prokaryotic genomes from 37 and 20 °C methanogenic phenol-degrading reactors...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Georg Basler, Mitchell Thompson, Danielle Tullman-Ercek, Jay Keasling
Background: The microbial production of biofuels is complicated by a tradeoff between yield and toxicity of many fuels. Efflux pumps enable bacteria to tolerate toxic substances by their removal from the cells while bypassing the periplasm. Their use for the microbial production of biofuels can help to improve cell survival, product recovery, and productivity. However, no native efflux pump is known to act on the class of short-chain alcohols, important next-generation biofuels, and it was considered unlikely that such an efflux pump exists...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Hao Wen, Huidong Chen, Di Cai, Peiwen Gong, Tao Zhang, Zhichao Wu, Heting Gao, Zhuangzhuang Li, Peiyong Qin, Tianwei Tan
Background: The production of biobutanol from renewable biomass resources is attractive. The energy-intensive separation process and low-titer solvents production are the key constraints on the economy-feasible acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) production by fermentation. To decrease energy consumption and increase the solvents concentration, a novel two-stage gas stripping-salting-out system was established for effective ABE separation from the fermentation broth using sweet sorghum bagasse as feedstock...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Lubna V Richter, Huijun Yang, Mohammad Yazdani, Maureen R Hanson, Beth A Ahner
Background: We investigated strategies to improve foreign protein accumulation in the chloroplasts of the model algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and tested the outcome in both standard culture conditions as well as one pertinent to algal biofuel production. The downstream box (DB) of the TetC or NPTII genes, the first 15 codons following the start codon, was N -terminally fused to the coding region of cel6A , an endoglucanase from Thermobifida fusca . We also employed a chimeric regulatory element, consisting of the 16S rRNA promoter and the atpA 5'UTR, previously reported to enhance protein expression, to regulate the expression of the TetC- cel6A gene...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jingbai Wen, Yanqiu Xiao, Ting Liu, Qiuqiang Gao, Jie Bao
Background: Lignocellulose is one of the most promising alternative feedstocks for glutamic acid production as commodity building block chemical, but the efforts by the dominant industrial fermentation strain Corynebacterium glutamicum failed for accumulating glutamic acid using lignocellulose feedstock. Results: We identified the existence of surprisingly high biotin concentration in corn stover hydrolysate as the determining factor for the failure of glutamic acid accumulation by Corynebacterium glutamicum ...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Vasiliki Tsakraklides, Annapurna Kamineni, Andrew L Consiglio, Kyle MacEwen, Jonathan Friedlander, Hannah G Blitzblau, Maureen A Hamilton, Donald V Crabtree, Austin Su, Jonathan Afshar, John E Sullivan, W Greg LaTouf, Colin R South, Emily H Greenhagen, A Joe Shaw, Elena E Brevnova
Background: Oleate-enriched triacylglycerides are well-suited for lubricant applications that require high oxidative stability. Fatty acid carbon chain length and degree of desaturation are key determinants of triacylglyceride properties and the ability to manipulate fatty acid composition in living organisms is critical to developing a source of bio-based oil tailored to meet specific application requirements. Results: We sought to engineer the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for production of high-oleate triacylglyceride oil...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Ruilian Yao, Keli Pan, Huasong Peng, Lei Feng, Hongbo Hu, Xuehong Zhang
Background: Glycerol, an inevitable byproduct of biodiesel, has become an attractive feedstock for the production of value-added chemicals due to its availability and low price. Pseudomonas chlororaphis HT66 can use glycerol to synthesize phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), a phenazine derivative, which is strongly antagonistic to fungal phytopathogens. A systematic understanding of underlying mechanisms for the PCN overproduction will be important for the further improvement and industrialization...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Qiang Fei, Aaron W Puri, Holly Smith, Nancy Dowe, Philip T Pienkos
Background: Due to the success of shale gas development in the US, the production cost of natural gas has been reduced significantly, which in turn has made methane (CH4 ), the major component of natural gas, a potential alternative substrate for bioconversion processes compared with other high-price raw material sources or edible feedstocks. Therefore, exploring effective ways to use CH4 for the production of biofuels is attractive. Biological fixation of CH4 by methanotrophic bacteria capable of using CH4 as their sole carbon and energy source has obtained great attention for biofuel production from this resource...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chao Zhu, Lijie Chen, Chuang Xue, Fengwu Bai
Background: Butanol derived from renewable resources by microbial fermentation is considered as one of not only valuable platform chemicals but alternative advanced biofuels. However, due to low butanol concentration in fermentation broth, butanol production is restricted by high energy consumption for product recovery. For in situ butanol recovery techniques, such as gas stripping and pervaporation, the common problem is their low efficiency in harvesting and concentrating butanol. Therefore, there is a necessity to develop an advanced butanol recovery technique for cost-effective biobutanol production...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Thapelo Mokomele, Leonardo da Costa Sousa, Venkatesh Balan, Eugéne van Rensburg, Bruce E Dale, Johann F Görgens
Background: Expanding biofuel markets are challenged by the need to meet future biofuel demands and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while using domestically available feedstock sustainably. In the context of the sugar industry, exploiting under-utilized cane leaf matter (CLM) in addition to surplus sugarcane bagasse as supplementary feedstock for second-generation ethanol production has the potential to improve bioenergy yields per unit land. In this study, the ethanol yields and processing bottlenecks of ammonia fibre expansion (AFEX™) and steam explosion (StEx) as adopted technologies for pretreating sugarcane bagasse and CLM were experimentally measured and compared for the first time...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Yuting Wang, Xiaoshan Zhuang, Meirong Chen, Zhiyong Zeng, Xiaoqi Cai, Hui Li, Zhangli Hu
Background: Hydrogen photoproduction from green microalgae is regarded as a promising alternative solution for energy problems. However, the simultaneous oxygen evolution from microalgae can prevent continuous hydrogen production due to the hypersensitivity of hydrogenases to oxygen. Sulfur deprivation can extend the duration of algal hydrogen production, but it is uneconomical to alternately culture algal cells in sulfur-sufficient and sulfur-deprived media. Results: In this study, we developed a novel way to simulate sulfur-deprivation treatment while constantly maintaining microalgal cells in sulfur-sufficient culture medium by overexpressing an endogenous microRNA (miR1166...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Shihui Yang, Jessica M Vera, Jeff Grass, Giannis Savvakis, Oleg V Moskvin, Yongfu Yang, Sean J McIlwain, Yucai Lyu, Irene Zinonos, Alexander S Hebert, Joshua J Coon, Donna M Bates, Trey K Sato, Steven D Brown, Michael E Himmel, Min Zhang, Robert Landick, Katherine M Pappas, Yaoping Zhang
Background: Zymomonas mobilis is a natural ethanologen being developed and deployed as an industrial biofuel producer. To date, eight Z. mobilis strains have been completely sequenced and found to contain 2-8 native plasmids. However, systematic verification of predicted Z. mobilis plasmid genes and their contribution to cell fitness has not been hitherto addressed. Moreover, the precise number and identities of plasmids in Z. mobilis model strain ZM4 have been unclear. The lack of functional information about plasmid genes in ZM4 impedes ongoing studies for this model biofuel-producing strain...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Yanli Guo, Yi Huang, Jie Gao, Yuanyuan Pu, Nan Wang, Wenyun Shen, Jing Wen, Bin Yi, Chaozhi Ma, Jinxing Tu, Tingdong Fu, Jitao Zou, Jinxiong Shen
Background: Accumulation of storage compounds during seed development plays an important role in the life cycle of oilseed plants; these compounds provide carbon and energy resources to support the establishment of seedlings. Results: In this study, we show that BnCIPK9 has a broad expression pattern in Brassica napus L. tissues and that wounding stress strongly induces its expression. The overexpression of BnCIPK9 during seed development reduced oil synthesis in transgenic B...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Anna Detman, Damian Mielecki, Łukasz Pleśniak, Michał Bucha, Marek Janiga, Irena Matyasik, Aleksandra Chojnacka, Mariusz-Orion Jędrysek, Mieczysław K Błaszczyk, Anna Sikora
Background: Anaerobic digestion, whose final products are methane and carbon dioxide, ensures energy flow and circulation of matter in ecosystems. This naturally occurring process is used for the production of renewable energy from biomass. Lactate, a common product of acidic fermentation, is a key intermediate in anaerobic digestion of biomass in the environment and biogas plants. Effective utilization of lactate has been observed in many experimental approaches used to study anaerobic digestion...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Juan Antonio Méndez-Líter, Laura Isabel de Eugenio, Alicia Prieto, María Jesús Martínez
Background: In the last years, the most outstanding trend for obtaining high added-value components and second-generation (2G) biofuels consisted on exploitation of plant biomass. But recently, 3G biofuels, based in algae biomass, have emerged as a great alternative for production of energy. Results: In this work, a versatile β-glucosidase from the ascomycete fungus Talaromyces amestolkiae has been purified, characterized, and heterologously expressed. The synthesis of this β-glucosidase (BGL-3) was not induced by cellulose, and the presence of a specific carbon source is not required for its production, which is uncommon for β-glucosidases...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Wusheng Liu, Mitra Mazarei, Rongjian Ye, Yanhui Peng, Yuanhua Shao, Holly L Baxter, Robert W Sykes, Geoffrey B Turner, Mark F Davis, Zeng-Yu Wang, Richard A Dixon, C Neal Stewart
Background: Genetic engineering of switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) for reduced cell wall recalcitrance and improved biofuel production has been a long pursued goal. Up to now, constitutive promoters have been used to direct the expression of cell wall biosynthesis genes toward attaining that goal. While generally sufficient to gauge a transgene's effects in the heterologous host, constitutive overexpression often leads to undesirable plant phenotypic effects. Green tissue-specific promoters from switchgrass are potentially valuable to directly alter cell wall traits exclusively in harvestable aboveground biomass while not changing root phenotypes...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jeremy F Chignell, Susan K De Long, Kenneth F Reardon
Background: Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) harness electrons from microbial respiration to generate power or chemical products from a variety of organic feedstocks, including lignocellulosic biomass, fermentation byproducts, and wastewater sludge. In some BESs, such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs), bacteria living in a biofilm use the anode as an electron acceptor for electrons harvested from organic materials such as lignocellulosic biomass or waste byproducts, generating energy that may be used by humans...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Seddik Harchouni, Ben Field, Benoît Menand
Background: Lipid-specific live cell dyes are an important tool for the study of algal lipid metabolism, the monitoring of lipid production, and the identification of algal strains with high lipid yields. Nile Red and BODIPY have emerged as the principal dyes for these purposes. However, they suffer from a number of shortcomings including for specificity, penetration, interference from chlorophyll autofluorescence, and incompatibility with widely used genetically encoded reporters in the green and blue regions of the spectrum such as the green fluorescent protein and the red fluorescent protein...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Jaesung Chun, Okkyoung Choi, Byoung-In Sang
Background: Extractive fermentation with the removal of carboxylic acid requires low pH conditions because acids are better partitioned into the solvent phase at low pH values. However, this requirement conflicts with the optimal near-neutral pH conditions for microbial growth. Results: CO2 pressurization was used, instead of the addition of chemicals, to decrease pH for the extraction of butyric acid, a fermentation product of Clostridium tyrobutyricum , and butyl butyrate was selected as an extractant...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
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