Study Reveals New Source of Robust Cellulases in Compost

November 15, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A recent study led by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), shows the significance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be applied to convert plants to biofuels.  The study, just published in the journal Nature Microbiology, talks about the discovery of new types of cellulases, enzymes that aid in breaking down plants into ingredients that can be used to make bioproducts and biofuels. The cellulases were cultured from a microbiome. Using a microbial community deviates from the approach normally taken of using isolated organisms to get enzymes. The researchers initially examined the microbial menagerie found in a few cups of municipal compost.

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