Disposal of waste sludges produced in large amounts in the pulp and paper industry imposes significant environmental and economical problems. One strategy to address these issues involves revalorization of paper mill sludges by their application as substrates for microbial production of biotechnologically relevant enzymes. The application of lignocellulolytic enzymes in paper, textile and bioenergy industries is encouraged in order to decrease chemicals and energy consumptions. In the following work, deinking sludge was assessed as a substrate for production of lignocellulases. Based on the results of growth and activity screenings, Pleurotus ostreatus PLAB was chosen as the most promising candidate among 30 tested strains and its secretome was further studied by quantitative enzyme assays and mass spectrometry. While endoglucanase and xylanase activities detected in P. ostreatus secretome produced on deinking sludge were similar to activities of cultures grown on other lignocellulosic substrates, average laccase activity was significantly higher (46?000 U/kg DIS). Mass spectrometry identification of the most prominent proteins in the secretome of the target strain confirmed that significant amounts of different lignin-modifying oxidases were produced on this substrate despite its low lignin content, indicating the presence of other inducible compounds. The findings of this study suggest deinking sludge may represent a good substrate for fungal production of the aforementioned enzymes with broad biotechnological applications, including bioremediation, paper and bioenergy industries.
Bioethanol and biobutanol hold great promise as alternative biofuels, especially for transport sector, because they can be produced from lignocellulosic agro-industrial residues. From techno-economic point of view, the bioprocess for biofuels production should involve minimal processing steps. Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP), which combines various processing steps such as pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation in a single bioreactor, could be of great relevance for the production of bioethanol and biobutanol or solvents (acetone, butanol, ethanol), employing clostridia. For CBP, Clostridium holds best promise because it possesses multi-enzyme system involving cellulosome and xylanosome, which comprise several enzymes such as cellulases and xylanases. The aim of this article was to review the recent developments on enzyme systems of clostridia, especially xylanase and cellulase with an effort to analyse the information available on molecular approaches for the improvement of strains with ultimate aim to improve the efficiencies of hydrolysis and fermentation.
A recently discovered thermophilic isolate, Geobacillus sp. R7, was shown to produce a thermostable cellulase with a high hydrolytic potential when grown on extrusion-pretreated agricultural residues such corn stover and prairie cord grass. At 70°C and 15–20% solids, the thermostable cellulase was able to partially liquefy solid biomass only after 36 h of hydrolysis time. The hydrolytic capabilities of Geobacillus sp. R7 cellulase were comparable to those of a commercial cellulase. Fermentation of the enzymatic hydrolyzates with Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 24860 produced ethanol yields of 0.45–0.50 g ethanol/g glucose with more than 99% glucose utilization. It was further demonstrated that Geobacillus sp. R7 can ferment the lignocellulosic substrates to ethanol in a single step that could facilitate the development of a consolidated bioprocessing as an alternative approach for bioethanol production with outstanding potential for cost reductions.
A thermophilic microbial consortium (TMC) producing hydrolytic (cellulolytic and xylanolytic) enzymes was isolated from yard waste compost following enrichment with carboxymethyl cellulose and birchwood xylan. When grown on 5% lignocellulosic substrates (corn stover and prairie cord grass) at 600 C, the thermophilic consortium produced more xylanase (up to 489 U/l on corn stover) than cellulase activity (up to 367 U/l on prairie cord grass). Except for the carboxymethyl cellulose-enriched consortium, thermo-mechanical extrusion pretreatment of these substrates had a positive effect on both activities with up to 13% and 21% increase in the xylanase and cellulase production, respectively. The optimum temperatures of the crude cellulase and xylanase were 600 C and 700 C with half-lives of 15 h and 18 h, respectively, suggesting higher thermostability for the TMC xylanase. Sodium dodecyl sulfatepolyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the crude enzyme exhibited protein bands of 25-77 kDa with multiple enzyme activities containing 3 cellulases and 3 xylanases. The substrate specificity declined in the following descending order: avicel>birchwood xylan>microcrystalline cellulose>filter paper>pine wood saw dust>carboxymethyl cellulose. The crude enzyme was 77% more active on insoluble than soluble cellulose. The Km and Vmax values were 36.49 mg/ml and 2.98 U/mg protein on avicel (cellulase), and 22.25 mg/ml and 2.09 U/mg protein, on birchwood xylan (xylanase). A total of 50 TMC isolates were screened for cellulase and xylanase secretion on agar plates. All single isolates showed significantly lower enzyme activities when compared to the thermophilic consortia. This is indicative of the strong synergistic interactions that exist within the thermophilic microbial consortium and enhance its hydrolytic capabilities. It was further demonstrated that the thermostable enzyme-generated lignocellulosic hydrolyzates can be fermented to bioethanol by a recombinant strain of Escherichia coli. This could have important implications in the enzymatic breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass for the establishment of a robust and cost-efficient process for production of cellulosic ethanol. To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first report in literature on biochemical characterization of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes from a thermophilic microbial consortium.