Bioprospecting for novel laminarin-degrading enzymes in marine microorganisms - A step towards the use of macroalgae in bioprocesses

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Olsson, Joakim
Currently, efforts are being made to find alternative biomasses for biofuel production, which are not competing with food production. Several kelp species have potential for large-scale cultivation, harvest and biorefinery processes. On the Swedish west coast, Laminaria digitata and Saccharina latissima are two such species. These kelps can contain up to 33% of the storage carbohydrate laminarin (dry weight), which can be hydrolysed to glucose and subsequently converted into bioethanol by for instance yeast. Enzymes able to digest the β-1,3 or β-1,6 bonds of the laminarin, to release glucose, are in large unknown and this project has been about finding microorganisms expressing such enzymes, known as laminarases. Samples from partly decomposed L. digitata and S. latissima specimens were streaked on nutrient agar plates for proliferation and isolation of surface microorganisms. Isolated organisms were subsequently screened for growth on laminarin and promising strains were identified through 16s/18s rRNA sequencing. After growth experiments on liquid medium with different carbon sources, two bacterial strains, Pseudoalteromonas ssp., were selected for further characterisation. The two strains were grown in algae extract and the sugar composition was monitored over time. In the extract, mainly mannitol and laminarin were present but glucose was formed during the cultivation, indicating the presence of hydrolytic enzymes, after which the hydrolytic activity on pure laminarin was investigated. The supernatants of one of the strains showed in vitro activity, further indicating the presence of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes. More investigations are needed on whether the enzymes can be used in any type of process. This thesis work has been successful in isolating marine organisms with laminarin-degrading activity.
Energi, Livsvetenskaper, Miljöbioteknik, Industriell bioteknik, Bioprocessteknik, Fytokemi inklusive alger och industribioråvaror, Biomaterial, Energy, Life Science, Environmental Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology, Bioprocess Technology, Phytochemistry including algae and industrial bio-raw materials, Bio Materials
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