Researchers microbe that an use lignin for growth in absence of oxygen

February 5, 2018 |

In Massachusetts, microbial species that grow in environments where carbon is mainly available as lignin are promising for finding new ways of removing lignin that protects cellulose for improved conversion of lignin to fuel precursors. One candidate species that can use lignin for growth in the absence of oxygen is Enterobacter lignolyticus SCF1, a bacterium isolated from tropical rain forest soil. A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Santa Maria University in Valparaiso, Chile; and EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory conducted whole gene-expression analysis of E.lignolyticus SCF1 using next generation sequencing for transcriptomic analysis. The experiments were conducted on cells grown in the presence of lignin, with samples taken at three different times during growth. Cultures with lignin achieved twice the cell biomass as cultures grown without lignin, and degraded 60 percent of the available lignin. A complement of enzymes consistent with disruption of the chemical structures present in lignin were up-regulated in lignin-amended conditions. Additionally, the association of hydrogen production with lignin degradation suggests a possible value add to lignin degradation in the future.

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Category: Research

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