Brazil is one of the world's largest producers of biofuels. Biofuels derived from biomass represent and important renewable energy alternative to transportation fossil fuels. A major obstacle to industrial scale production of biofuels lies in the inefficient enzymatic plant destruction. In order to overcome this problem protein engineering of known enzymes has been used, however with limited success. Alternatively, the recovery of enzymes from naturally evolved biomass-degrading microbial communities, offers a promising strategy for identification of new lignocellulolytic enzymes with improved activities. In this context, the metagenomics approach represents a powerful tool for discovering new genomes and active genes in biomass degradation. By using a straightforward metagenomic/metatranscriptomic strategy including rumen DNA and RNA isolation, libraries construction, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics, followed by heterologous gene expression, this project proposal aims the study of caprine rumen as a source of new enzymes to be used in the biofuel industry. The caprine rumen is a biological system where biomass-degrading microorganisms are enriched, which facilitates the directed bioprospection seeking new genes and enzymes associated to vegetal material hydrolysis. The project will provide a significant advancement in the fundamental understanding of genomic diversity, natural functions, and metabolic capacity of biomass-degrading microorganisms. This understanding on players and mechanisms involved during plant fiber hydrolysis will provide ways to obtain new molecules to be applied in the biofuel industry. (AU)
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LOPES, LUCAS DANTAS;
DE SOUZA LIMA, ANDRE OLIVEIRA;
TAKETANI, RODRIGO GOUVEA;
FE DA SILVA, LILIA RAQUEL;
ROMAGNOLI, EMILIANA MANESCO;
ABDALLA, ADIBE LUIZ;
Exploring the sheep rumen microbiome for carbohydrate-active enzymes.
ANTONIE VAN LEEUWENHOEK INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GENERAL AND MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY,
Web of Science Citations: 12.
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