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Functional screening of new proteases and glycosyl hydrolases in metagenomic libraries

Grant number: 16/06922-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Biochemistry of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:María Eugenia Guazzaroni
Grantee:Tiago Cabral Borelli
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/04309-1 - Novel approaches to improve functional screening of biocatalysts in metagenomic libraries, AP.JP


Microorganisms have been used in a wide range of activities, for instance, as biotechnological tools in the production of bread and wine and, recently, as a source of molecules with biotechnological applications that improve many industrial processes. Whereas proteases are widely employed to produce high-yield detergents and food enrichment, glycosyl hydrolases (GHs) have been used in the textile industry to make softer cotton and to finish the process of jeans production. However, due to the technical difficulties, the large majority of microorganisms cannot be cultivated using standard methods in the laboratory, allowing access to only less than 1% of soil bacterial diversity at natural environments and therefore limiting the recovery of novels biocatalysts to overcome the increasing necessity of the industry. In this sense, metagenomics has become a great approach that improves the range of recovery of novel biocatalysts allowing access to the genetic resources of uncultivable microorganisms. This project aims to the identification of new coding genes for GHs and proteases with potential use in industry, through functional screening of metagenomic libraries assembled from DNA of microbial communities' inhabitants of soil samples. To this end, metagenomics libraries constructed in plasmids pSEVA142 and pUC19 will be subject to functional screening using Escherichia coli as a host.

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