The biodegradation of lignocellulosic materials has been the subject of many studies, because in addition to match an important step in the carbon cycle in nature, presents a huge potential of biotechnology in the production of biofuels. The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into renewable fuels, such as bioethanol, has been considered a promising technology to replace fossil fuels and expansion of ethanol production worldwide. An essential step in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol or other products biorefinery is the depolymerization of polysaccharides constituents to fermentable sugars by enzymatic pathway. Accordingly completely hydrolyze biomass depends on the synergistic action of several distinct catalytic activities, mainly cellulases and hemicellulases, with which it hopes to obtain synergistic levels of income for saccharification of these complex polymers. Recent studies show that sugar cane has about 30% cellulose, 50% hemicellulose and 10% pectin subpopulation which is linked to the cell wall phenolics and / or lignin and pectin tightly associated with cellulose. For the hydrolysis of biomass to be more efficient, studies have shown that the addition of a cocktail pectinase is highly promising. On the face of it, this research project aims to explore an arsenal pectinolitic composed of the major pectinases described as endo-polygalacturonase, exo-polygalacturonase rhamnogalacturonase (belonging to family GH28) and accessory enzymes of family GH43 (galactanase and arabinanase) compatible with biochemical characteristics for using enzyme cocktails. The accessory enzymes are of paramount importance for the degradation of pectin side chains present in the cell walls of plants. For that, we propose two different methodologies: first, prospecting in silico to retrieve new pectinases micro-organisms known as decomposers of plant biomass and accessory enzymes. This search will be directed from the search for sequences with homology to a major pectinases available in the market Pectinex XL (Aspergillus niger Novozymes) using database available on line and a second methodology using the bioprospecting of endo-polygalacturonase by adopting a metagenomics strategy optimized. These results will be important to target the best combination of pectinases who shall compose new enzyme cocktails, which may contribute to the increased performance and efficiency in the process of hydrolysis of plant biomass.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: