Sunday, April 29, 2007

Production of microbial endo and exoglucanase enzymes within feedstock biomass to reduce the needs for external cellulases

Mei C. Mei, C. Ransom, R. Sabzikar, Y. Zhai, and M. Sticklen. Crop and Soil Sci., MIchigan State University, 361 PSSB, East Lansing, MI 48824

We have produced transgenic corn and rice plants that produce biologically active thermostable Acidothermus cellulolyticus E1, and recently reported that this endogenous E1 enzyme can successfully convert crop cellulose into fermentable sugars (Biswas, 2006; Ransom et al., 2006; Oraby et al., 2006). Also, we recently developed a series of plasmids containing the Trichoderma reesei cellobiohydrolase (CBH1) exoglucanase gene, and produced transgenic plants that express this gene too. Work is in progress to confirm the biological activity of CBH1 in these plants and to test the possible synergistic effect of plant-produced CBH1 on E1, and for reducing the needs for external hydrolytic enzymes to convert crop cellulose into fermentable sugars.

 ·        Biswas, G., C. Ransom and M. Sticklen. 2006. Expression of biologically active Acidothermus cellulolyticus endoglucanase in transgenic maize. Plant Sci. 171: 617-623.
·         Oraby, H.,  B. Venkatesh, B. Dale, R. Ahmad, C. Ransom, J. Oehmke and M. Sticklen. 2006. Enhanced conversion of plant biomass into glucose using transgenic plant-produced endoglucanase for cellulosic ethanol. Transgenic Res. In press.
·         Ransom, C., B. Venkatesh, G. Biswas, B. Dale, and M. Sticklen. 2006. Heterologous Acidothermus cellulolyticus 1, 4-β-endoglucanase E1 produced within the maize Biomass converts corn stover into glucose. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. In press.

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