Cathleen works as PhD student in the Division of Industrial Biotechnology. In her work she investigates the potential of bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes phylum for the degradation of biomass. Bacteroidetes are common in soil and in the mammal gut. In these environments Bacteroidetes metabolize complex carbohydrates, which form the basis of biomass, using a wide range of highly specialized carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). These CAZymes are usually encoded in polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs), which are a special feature of Bacteroidetes. Cathleen focusses on the identification and subsequent biochemical characterization of novel CAZymes, as well as method development for advanced genetical engineering of PULs.
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