APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Genetic modification of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for pentose sugar fermentation
- Improved lignocellulose hydrolysate fermentation
- Increases maximal xylose isomerase (XI) velocity by three-fold
- Promotes lignocellulose hydrolysis and deconstruction and colony subsistence
- Carbohydrate rich substrates such as lignocellulosic hydrolysates remain one of the primary sources of renewable fuel and bulk chemicals. D-xylose is often present in significant amounts. While Saccharomyces cerevisiae can acquire the ability to metabolize D-xylose through expression of heterologous xylose isomerase (XI), this enzyme is notoriously difficult to express in S. cerevisiae.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and their collaborators have discovered, synthesized and cloned a novel D-xylose isomerase from the microbiome of the wood-feeding beetle Odontotaenius disjunctus.
The enzyme was identified via analysis of genes present in metagenome assemblies with XI functional predictions. Its expression resulted in faster aerobic growth of S. cerevisiae with D-xylose as the sole carbon source. Notably, it exhibited a maximal velocity that was three times higher than that of the XI from Piromyces sp. under identical conditions.
Yield is of paramount importance for process economy. This enzyme shows promise for the efficient lignocellulosic hydrolysate fermentation on the pathway toward renewable fuel and renewable chemicals.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Publication: Ceja-Navarro, J.A., Karaoz, U., Bill, M. et al. Gut anatomical properties and microbial functional assembly promote lignocellulose deconstruction and colony subsistence of a wood-feeding beetle. Nat Microbiol 4, 864–875 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0384-y
STATUS: Patent pending.
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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