Screening Tropical Microorganisms for the Discovery of Enzymes for Biomass Modification and Degradation
Conference poster, 2012
The quest for novel enzymes, with properties suitable for the modification and hydrolysis of biomass in industrial environments, requires the exploration of previously unexplored biotopes and their microorganisms. The tropics are often associated with high biodiversity, both in the seas and the land. This characteristic makes Viet Nam an ideal place for the isolation of novel microorganisms and the subsequent identification of novel enzymes with interesting characteristics.
Twenty five fungal strains have been isolated from different biomass rich environments in Viet Nam and have been cultivated in media containing rice bran or Brewer’s spent grain. Crude extracts were isolated and tested for amylase, xylanase and cellulase activity. The thermotolerance and halotolerance of the respective enzymes were also investigated.
Future work includes the investigation of cellulose degrading, hemicellulose debranching, lignin carbohydrate complexes cleaving and lignin degrading enzymes, identification of interesting properties and purification, heterologous expression and subsequent characterization of the respective enzymes.