Oxygen-Radical Pretreatment Promotes Enzyme Activity for Cellulose Degradation

https://biotechnologyforbiofuels.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13068-017-0979-6

The efficiency of enzymes is important in industrial refinery processes, including biofuel production. Chemical methods have been effective for breaking the recalcitrance of lignocellulose biomass. However, these methods have a detrimental effect on the environment. The team of Kiyota Sakai from Meijo University in Japan tested whether oxygen-radical pretreatment can enhance cellulolytic activity. The team first developed a radical generator based on non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma technology.

Results showed that oxygen-radical pretreatment of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and wheat straw enhanced the degradation of cellulose by cellulases from Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Further analysis showed that compared with non-pretreated CMC, oxygen-radical pretreatment significantly increased the production of reducing sugars. Meanwhile, the amount of reducing sugars from oxygen-radical-pretreated wheat straw was found to be 1.8 times greater than those from non-pretreated wheat straw.

These findings indicated that oxygen-radical pretreatment of plant biomass offers great promise in pre-treatment processes.


 

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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