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Amornpan Klanchui, Nachon Raethong, Peerada Prommeenate, Wanwipa Vongsangnak, Asawin Meechai
Cyanobacteria, the phototrophic microorganisms, have attracted much attention recently as a promising source for environmentally sustainable biofuels production. However, barriers for commercial markets of cyanobacteria-based biofuels concern the economic feasibility. Miscellaneous strategies for improving the production performance of cyanobacteria have thus been developed. Among these, the simple ad hoc strategies resulting in failure to optimize fully cell growth coupled with desired product yield are explored...
October 26, 2016: Advances in Biochemical Engineering/biotechnology
Hanwool Park, Choul-Gyun Lee
Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range...
October 26, 2016: Biotechnology Journal
Patrick M Shih, Khanh Vuu, Nasim Mansoori, Leïla Ayad, Katherine B Louie, Benjamin P Bowen, Trent R Northen, Dominique Loqué
The advent and growth of synthetic biology has demonstrated its potential as a promising avenue of research to address many societal needs. However, plant synthetic biology efforts have been hampered by a dearth of DNA part libraries, versatile transformation vectors and efficient assembly strategies. Here, we describe a versatile system (named jStack) utilizing yeast homologous recombination to efficiently assemble DNA into plant transformation vectors. We demonstrate how this method can facilitate pathway engineering of molecules of pharmaceutical interest, production of potential biofuels and shuffling of disease-resistance traits between crop species...
October 26, 2016: Nature Communications
Jonathan B Shurin, Michael D Burkart, Stephen P Mayfield, Val H Smith
Modern society is fueled by fossil energy produced millions of years ago by photosynthetic organisms. Cultivating contemporary photosynthetic producers to generate energy and capture carbon from the atmosphere is one potential approach to sustaining society without disrupting the climate. Algae, photosynthetic aquatic microorganisms, are the fastest growing primary producers in the world and can therefore produce more energy with less land, water, and nutrients than terrestrial plant crops. We review recent progress and challenges in developing bioenergy technology based on algae...
2016: F1000Research
Woo Soo Jeong, Dong Ho Seo, Jong Hyun Jung, Dong Hyun Jung, Dong-Woo Lee, Young-Seo Park, Cheonseok Park
A highly thermostable β-(1-4)-glucanase (NA23_08975) gene (fig) from Fervidobacterium islandicum AW-1, a native-feather degrading thermophilic eubacterium, was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant FiG (rFiG) protein showed strong activity toward β-D-glucan from barley (367.0 IU/mg), galactomannan (174.0 IU/mg), and 4-nitrophenyl-cellobioside (pNPC, 66.1 IU/mg), but relatively weak activity was observed with hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC, 5.3 IU/mg), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC, 2.4 IU/mg), and xylan from oat spelt (1...
October 25, 2016: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Nawel Haïli, Julien Louap, Michel Canonge, Franjo Jagic, Christelle Louis-Mondésir, Thierry Chardot, Pierre Briozzo
The membrane proteins acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGAT) are essential actors for triglycerides (TG) biosynthesis in eukaryotic organisms. Microbial production of TG is of interest for producing biofuel and value-added novel oils. In the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, Dga1p enzyme from the DGAT2 family plays a major role in TG biosynthesis. Producing recombinant DGAT enzymes pure and catalytically active is difficult, hampering their detailed functional characterization. In this report, we expressed in Escherichia coli and purified two soluble and active forms of Y...
2016: PloS One
Aung Kyaw Lwin, Edoardo Bertolini, Mario Enrico Pè, Andrea Zuccolo
Transposable elements (TEs) are the most abundant genetic material for almost all eukaryotic genomes. Their effects on the host genomes range from an extensive size variation to the regulation of gene expression, altering gene function and creating new genes. Because of TEs pivotal contribute to the host genome structure and regulation, their identification and characterization provide a wealth of useful data for gaining an in-depth understanding of host genome functioning. The giant reed (Arundo donax) is a perennial rhizomatous C3 grass, octadecaploid, with an estimated nuclear genome size of 2744 Mbp...
October 24, 2016: Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG
David W Templeton, Justin B Sluiter, Amie Sluiter, Courtney Payne, David P Crocker, Ling Tao, Ed Wolfrum
BACKGROUND: In an effort to find economical, carbon-neutral transportation fuels, biomass feedstock compositional analysis methods are used to monitor, compare, and improve biofuel conversion processes. These methods are empirical, and the analytical variability seen in the feedstock compositional data propagates into variability in the conversion yields, component balances, mass balances, and ultimately the minimum ethanol selling price (MESP). We report the average composition and standard deviations of 119 individually extracted National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) bagasse [Reference Material (RM) 8491] run by seven analysts over 7 years...
2016: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Ana F Miranda, Bijoy Biswas, Narasimhan Ramkumar, Rawel Singh, Jitendra Kumar, Anton James, Felicity Roddick, Banwari Lal, Sanjukta Subudhi, Thallada Bhaskar, Aidyn Mouradov
BACKGROUND: The quest for sustainable production of renewable and cheap biofuels has triggered an intensive search for domestication of the next generation of bioenergy crops. Aquatic plants which can rapidly colonize wetlands are attracting attention because of their ability to grow in wastewaters and produce large amounts of biomass. Representatives of Azolla species are some of the fastest growing plants, producing substantial biomass when growing in contaminated water and natural ecosystems...
2016: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Fengxue Xin, Chao Wang, Weiliang Dong, Wenming Zhang, Hao Wu, Jiangfeng Ma, Min Jiang
BACKGROUND: Low-cost feedstocks, a single product (butanol), and a high butanol titer are three key points for establishing a sustainable and economically viable process for biological butanol production. Here, we comprehensively investigated the butanol production from mono-substrates, mainly glycerol and polysaccharides, mainly starch and xylan by a newly identified wild-type Clostridium pasteurianum GL11. RESULTS: Strain GL11 produced 14.7 g/L of butanol with a yield of 0...
2016: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Shaolong Sun, Weijing Chen, Jianing Tang, Bing Wang, Xuefei Cao, Shaoni Sun, Run-Cang Sun
BACKGROUND: The biorefinery based on an effective and economical process is to fractionate the three primary constituents (cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin) from lignocellulosic biomass, in which the constituents can be respectively converted into high-value-added products. In this study, a successive treatment with dilute acid (0.25-1.0 % aqueous H2SO4, 100-150 °C, 0.5-3.0 h) and alkali (1.5 % aqueous NaOH, 80 °C, 3 h) was performed to produce xylooligosaccharides (XOS), high-purity lignin, and cellulose-rich substrates to produce glucose for ethanol production from rice straw (RS)...
2016: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Christen L Mumaw, Michael Surace, Shannon Levesque, Urmila P Kodavanti, Prasada Rao S Kodavanti, Joyce E Royland, Michelle L Block
Accumulating evidence suggests a deleterious role for urban air pollution in central nervous system (CNS) diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders. Microglia, the resident innate immune cells and sentinels in the brain, are a common source of neuroinflammation and are implicated in air pollution-induced CNS effects. While renewable energy, such as soy-based biofuel, is of increasing public interest, there is little information on how soy biofuel may affect the brain, especially in people with preexisting disease conditions...
October 21, 2016: Neurotoxicology
Ewelina Mnich, Ruben Vanholme, Paula Oyarce, Sarah Liu, Fachuang Lu, Geert Goeminne, Bodil Jørgensen, Mohammed Saddik Motawie, Wout Boerjan, John Ralph, Peter Ulvskov, Birger Lindberg Møller, Nanna Bjarnholt, Jesper Harholt
Lignin is a major polymer in the secondary plant cell wall and composed of hydrophobic interlinked hydroxyphenylpropanoid units. The presence of lignin hampers conversion of plant biomass into biofuels; plants with modified lignin are therefore being investigated for increased digestibility. The bacterium Sphingomonas paucimobilis produces lignin-degrading enzymes including LigD, LigF and LigG involved in cleaving the most abundant lignin inter-unit linkage, the β-aryl ether bond. In this study, we expressed the LigD, LigF and LigG (LigDFG) genes in Arabidopsis thaliana to introduce post-lignification modifications into the lignin structure...
October 24, 2016: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Lu Liu, Georg Pohnert, Dong Wei
Industrial microalgae, as a big family of promising producers of renewable biomass feedstock, have been commercially exploited for functional food, living feed and feed additives, high-value chemicals in nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, and chemical reagents. Recently, microalgae have also been considered as a group that might play an important role in biofuel development and environmental protection. Almost all current products of industrial microalgae are derived from their biomass; however, large amounts of spent cell-free media are available from mass cultivation that is mostly unexploited...
October 20, 2016: Marine Drugs
Chao Wang, Chongyang Zhao, Lianrui Hu, Hui Chen
Cyanobacterial aldehyde-deformylating oxygenase (cADO) is a nonheme diiron enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of aldehyde to alk(a/e)ne, an important transformation in biofuel research. In this work, we report a highly desired computational study for probing the mechanism of cADO. By combining our QM/MM results with the available (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopic data, the gained detailed struc-tural information suggests construction of asymmetry from the symmetric diiron cofactor in aldehyde substrate and O2 activation...
October 24, 2016: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
David P Hickey
Enzymatic glucose biosensors and biofuel cells make use of the electrochemical transduction between an oxidoreductase enzyme, such as glucose oxidase (GOx), and an electrode to either quantify the amount of glucose in a solution or generate electrical energy. However, many enzymes including GOx are not able to electrochemically interact with an electrode surface directly, but require an external electrochemical relay to shuttle electrons to the electrode. Ferrocene-modified linear poly(ethylenimine) (Fc-LPEI) redox polymers have been designed to simultaneously immobilize glucose oxidase (GOx) at an electrode and mediate electron transfer from their flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) active site to the electrode surface...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Sabina Besic, Shelley D Minteer
Although enzymes are highly efficient and selective catalysts, there have been problems incorporating them into fuel cells. Early enzyme-based fuel cells contained enzymes in solution rather than immobilized on the electrode surface. One problem utilizing an enzyme in solution is an issue of transport associated with long diffusion lengths between the site of bioelectrocatalysis and the electrode. This issue drastically decreases the theoretical overall power output due to the poor electron conductivity. On the other hand, enzymes immobilized at the electrode surface have eliminated the issue of poor electron conduction due to close proximity of electron transfer between electrode and the biocatalyst...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Mauricio J Grisolia, Diego A Peralta, Hugo A Valdez, Julieta Barchiesi, Diego F Gomez-Casati, María V Busi
Starch binding domains of starch synthase III from Arabidopsis thaliana (SBD123) binds preferentially to cell wall polysaccharides rather than to starch in vitro. Transgenic plants overexpressing SBD123 in the cell wall are larger than wild type. Cell wall components are altered in transgenic plants. Transgenic plants are more susceptible to digestion than wild type and present higher released glucose content. Our results suggest that the transgenic plants have an advantage for the production of bioethanol in terms of saccharification of essential substrates...
October 21, 2016: Plant Molecular Biology
Allan M Showalter, Brian D Keppler, Xiao Liu, Jens Lichtenberg, Lonnie R Welch
BACKGROUND: Hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) constitute a plant cell wall protein superfamily that functions in diverse aspects of growth and development. This superfamily contains three members: the highly glycosylated arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs), the moderately glycosylated extensins (EXTs), and the lightly glycosylated proline-rich proteins (PRPs). Chimeric and hybrid HRGPs, however, also exist. A bioinformatics approach is employed here to identify and classify AGPs, EXTs, PRPs, chimeric HRGPs, and hybrid HRGPs from the proteins predicted by the completed genome sequence of poplar (Populus trichocarpa)...
October 21, 2016: BMC Plant Biology
Stacy-Anne Morgan, Dana C Nadler, Rayka Yokoo, David F Savage
Metabolic engineering offers the potential to renewably produce important classes of chemicals, particularly biofuels, at an industrial scale. DNA synthesis and editing techniques can generate large pathway libraries, yet identifying the best variants is slow and cumbersome. Traditionally, analytical methods like chromatography and mass spectrometry have been used to evaluate pathway variants, but such techniques cannot be performed with high throughput. Biosensors - genetically encoded components that actuate a cellular output in response to a change in metabolite concentration - are therefore a promising tool for rapid and high-throughput evaluation of candidate pathway variants...
October 18, 2016: Current Opinion in Chemical Biology
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