Cellulose is produced by plants and other photosynthetic organisms and is the most abundant renewable source of carbon on the planet. Efficient utilization of cellulosic biomass is a promising route in developing a society free from fossil-based energy and materials. The highly recalcitrant crystalline structure of cellulose is however still a significant bottleneck when it comes to enzymatic degradation into fermentable glucose, and thus new and better enzymes are highly desirable.
This project is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) within the “Energy-oriented basic research” program, administrated by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). The focus of the project is to study the enzymes produced by certain soil bacteria able to efficiently utilize cellulose as a nutrient source. These bacteria lack certain key types of cellulose-degrading enzymes, and as such they are able to deconstruct cellulose crystals by a so far unknown mechanism. In this project, we want to understand the enzymatic machineries used by these bacteria, and how their novel enzymes can be used in bioenergy applications. We use proteomics, enzyme activity assays and generate knock-out mutants, to identify the key determinants for cellulose utilization. The project is a collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US.
Forskarassistent vid Chalmers University of Technology, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology
Doktor vid Chalmers University of Technology, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology
Funding Chalmers participation during 2016–2018 with 2,600,000.00 SEK