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Novel integrative strategies through the aldoketo reductase from the termite Coptotermes gestroi for detoxification, saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose aiming bioethanol production

Grant number: 16/07926-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Fábio Márcio Squina
Grantee:Robson Tramontina
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria de Pós-Graduação, Pesquisa, Extensão e Inovação. Universidade de Sorocaba (UNISO). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/50590-4 - Lignin valorization in cellulosic ethanol plants: biocatalytic conversion via ferulic acid to high value chemicals, AP.BIOEN.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/23754-1 - Development of a synthetic route to produce coniferyl alcohol from ferulic acid using an aldo-keto reductase from lower termite Coptotermes gestroi, BE.EP.DR


The development of lignocellulosic biorefineries is the key to the sustainable bioethanol production. New technologies for the production of lignocellulolytic enzymes, protein engineering and the rational development of enzyme mixtures are of great importance in this area. In this context, the wood feeding insects, such as the termites, are biological systems considered as models for the study of plant biomass conversion with potential application in the biorefinery development. Preliminary results of our research group suggests that pro-oxidant, antioxidants and detoxifying enzymes (PADs) can be the advantage of termites which makes them one of the most efficient biological systems in the conversion of lignocellulose. Continuing the researches from the master degree, an aldoketo reductase from the termite Coptotermes gestroi (CgAKR-1) had proven its role in the insect digestomics. This enzyme was able to increase the efficiency of commercial cellulolytic cocktails in the hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse. The enzymes also acted as a detoxication agent in the hemicellulose hydrolyzate from sugarcane bagasse. The detoxified hydrolizate was better fermented by xilose fermenting yeast after the enzymes treatment. In other words, the enzyme was proved to be a potential integrative enzyme in this chain. However, our studies revealed that the enzyme has no optimal thermal stability for industrial processes of sugar cane bagasse hydrolysis. Thus, the objectives of this PhD project focuses on the biotechnological applicability of an aldoketo reductase found in the termite Coptotermes gestroi (CgAKR-1). In order to achieve this goal we intend then: 1- improve the robustness of the enzyme against temperature compatible with the enzymatic hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse; 2- heterologous production of CgAKR-1 in Aspergillus; 3- Develop saccharification process of sugarcane bagasse with cellulolytic cocktails supplemented with CgAKR-1; 4 Apply CgAKR-1 in the detoxification of fermentation inhibitors present in hemicellulose hydrolyzate, to increase efficiency in the fermentation of this source of pentoses.

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
SODRE, VICTORIA; VILELA, NATHALIA; TRAMONTINA, ROBSON; SQUINA, FABIO MARCIO. icroorganisms as bioabatement agents in biomass to bioproducts application. BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, v. 151, . (16/07926-4, 18/18101-1, 15/50590-4, 17/08166-6)
TRAMONTINA, ROBSON; BRENELLI, LIVIA BEATRIZ; SOUSA, AMANDA; ALVES, RAFAEL; ZETTY ARENAS, ANA MARIA; NASCIMENTO, VIVIANE MARCOS; RABELO, SARITA CANDIDA; FREITAS, SINDELIA; RULLER, ROBERTO; SQUINA, FABIO MARCIO. Designing a cocktail containing redox enzymes to improve hemicellulosic hydrolysate fermentability by microorganisms. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, v. 135, . (15/50590-4, 13/03061-0, 17/15477-8, 15/26982-0, 16/07926-4)
DE SOUZA, WAGNER R.; MARTINS, POLYANA K.; FREEMAN, JACKIE; PELLNY, TILL K.; MICHAELSON, LOUISE V.; SAMPAIO, BRUNO L.; VINECKY, FELIPE; RIBEIRO, ANA P.; DA CUNHA, BARBARA A. D. B.; KOBAYASHI, ADILSON K.; et al. Suppression of a single BAHD gene in Setaria viridis causes large, stable decreases in cell wall feruloylation and increases biomass digestibility. NEW PHYTOLOGIST, v. 218, n. 1, p. 81-93, . (16/07926-4)
TRAMONTINA, ROBSON; BRENELLI, LIVIA BEATRIZ; SODRE, VICTORIA; FRANCO CAIRO, JOAO PAULO; TRAVALIA, BEATRIZ MEDEIROS; EGAWA, VIVIANE YOSHIMI; GOLDBECK, ROSANA; SQUINA, FABIO MARCIO. Enzymatic removal of inhibitory compounds from lignocellulosic hydrolysates for biomass to bioproducts applications. WORLD JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY, v. 36, n. 11, . (20/03051-9, 15/50590-4, 16/07926-4, 17/15477-8, 18/18101-1)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
TRAMONTINA, Robson. Novas estratégias à biorefinaria de lignocelulose aplicando a aldoketo redutase do cupim Coptotermes gestroi e enzimas redox associadas. 2021. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia Campinas, SP.

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