Framleiðsla lífefna úr þangi með hitakærum örverum - verkefni lokið

Fréttatilkynning verkefnisstjórans.


Thermopiles are of particular interest for utilization in biorefineries for their robustness and high tolerance to extreme environments, among other features.

A macroalgal biorefinery concept. The Rannís funded project Thermophilic Bioprocessing has been completed. The project, which funded the postdoctoral research of Bryndís Björnsdóttir, was based around the concept of utilizing macroalgae (seaweeds) for feedstock into biorefineries. Macroalgae are a hugely underutilized biomass, as well as of considerable interest for large-scale cultivation. They grow at impressive speeds, do not require land or fresh water for cultivation, and are packed with carbohydrates. These features have earned them the status of “the 3rd generation biorefinery feedstock”. Efficient microbial converters for cost-effective utilization of the unconventional recalcitrant carbohydrates found in macroalgae have, however, been a major hindrance in further developments of the macroalgal biorefinery. Matís has in previous projects engineered a promising thermophilic bioconversion organism, Thermoanaerobacterium sp. strain AK17, for bioethanol production by genetic knockouts of the fermentation by-products acetate and lactate.

Thermopiles are of particular interest for utilization in biorefineries for their robustness and high tolerance to extreme environments, among other features. In the project Thermophilic Bioprocessing, the aim was to genetically engineer this ethanologenic strain of AK17 for co-utilization of the major carbohydrates found in brown macroalgae; mannitol, laminarin and alginate. The strain naturally utilizes mannitol, but pathways for laminarin degradation into glucose and alginate degradation, import and conversion needed to be engineered.

The first step was to elucidate alginate catabolism in thermophiles for selection of genes to be imported into the strain. Then, a robust genetic engineering tool needed to be developed, to enable multiple genetic manipulations in the strain, a previously hampering factor. These two tasks were successfully completed and are a significant contribution to the development of a thermophilic macroalgal biorefinery. In a third major focus point of the project, attempts were made to engineer laminarin and alginate utilization. Both pathways have made considerable progress during the project, but have been hampered by different hindrances which have delayed the completion of the task. However, the project has laid a solid and important basis for further and expanded research on the topic and continued funding has been secured, largely on the basis set by the work of the Thermopilic Bioprocessing project, both through Horizon 2020 (MacroFuels project) and ERA-NET (ThermoFactories project). Therefore, the development will be continued with considerable efforts, in collaboration with strong multi-national research groups.

Furthermore, the funding has been a significant part of the scientific career development of the recipient postdoc, Bryndís Björnsdóttir, as well as for enabling her to establish herself within the research platform.

Heiti verkefnis: Framleiðsla lífefna úr þangi með hitakærum örverum
Enskt heiti: Thermophilic bioprocessing. Engineering of a thermoanaerobe for utilization of carbohydrates from macroalgae.
Verkefnisstjóri: Bryndís Björnsdótt, Matís ohf.
Tegund styrks: Rannsóknastöðustyrkur
Styrktímabil: 2013-2015
Fjárhæð styrks: 18,97 millj. kr. alls
Tilvísunarnúmer Rannís: 13023505

Þetta vefsvæði byggir á Eplica