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Title: Thermophilic mixed culture degradation of Miscanthus x giganteus as a guide to strategies for consolidated bioprocessing
Author: Banda, Agripina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 1886
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2015
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The successful development of consolidated bioprocessing requires microorganisms capable of degrading lignocellulosic biomass and fermenting the resulting sugars. Commercial cellulases and hemicellulases are currently being used to access these sugars, adding to the cost of producing useful products from lignocellulose. This study reports the enrichment of thermophilic, miscanthus degrading bacterial cultures from a municipal composting facility. The detected and isolated bacteria were characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and were mostly Chitinophagaceae family, Meiothermus spp. and Geobacillus spp. Other isolated species included Cohnella spp., Brevibacillus sp., Chelatococcus spp., Thermobacillus spp., Thermoanaerobacterium spp., Thermobispora bispora, Bacillus spp., Staphylococcus sp. and Micrococcus sp. After enrichment, the mixed population was able to degrade greater than 50% of an ammonium hydroxide pre-treated Miscanthus x giganteus sample (1 g) over a six week incubation period at 55oC, with a reduction in the amounts of all components, including acid soluble and acid insoluble lignin. The glycoside hydrolases and other enzymes identified in the culture supernatants included endo-1,4-β-glucanase A, glucoamylase, xylan 1,4-β-xylosidase, xylose isomerase, xylulokinase, superoxide dismutase, transaldolase, Mn-catalase, Δ-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase and endo-β-N-acetylglucoseaminidase H. The HPLC analysis showed that fermentation products formate and lactate were present in the culture supernatant. Expression of an endoglycoside hydrolase (Csac_0137 from Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus) gene in Geobacillus thermoglucosidasius strains, NCIMB 11955 and DL33, improved their β-glucosidase specific activity on cellobiose, and improved glycoside hydrolase activities of recombinant DL33 strain when grown on pre-treated M. x giganteus. Co-culturing of either transformed or wild-type NCIMB 11955 and DL33 with some of the isolated strains improved their glycoside hydrolase activity and growth on pretreated M. x giganteus.
Supervisor: Leak, David Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral