In the face of growing energy demand, the need for diversification of sources of renewable energy is clear. The production of first generation bioethanol relies on technologies that utilize either sucrose from sugarcane or starch from seeds, resulting in increased presuure on arable land and instability of food prices. Thus, technologies based on the depolymerization of abundant lignocellulosic material for production of second generation bioethanol appear promising. Lignocellulosic materials represent the most significant fraction of plant biomass and they are composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Microbial enzymes play a key role in the degradation of lignocellulose, in which polymeric and/or oligosaccharidic derivatives can be used to obtaining biotechnological products with higher commercial value. Therefore, technologies aimed at cell wall saccharification are the target of worldwide research. However, hydrolysis of the complex cell wall structure is a major challenge, and the use of enzyme chimera involving specific enzyme combinations represents a promising way to complete the hydrolysis of cell wall polysaccharides, in addition to providing reduced cost of using enzymes in industrial processes. In this project we propose the construction and characterization of chimeric enzymes from alpha-xylosidase, beta-galactosidase and xiloglucanase, which are involved in the degradation of hemicellulosic polysaccharide xyloglucan.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: