Xylan is the main hemicellulose in hardwood from angiosperms (15-30% of total dry weight), and consists of a linear polymer composed of xylose units joined together by glycosidic linkages of the type beta-1,4. However, in nature, it is usually associated with other sugars forming glucuronoxylans, glucuroarabinoxylans, glucomannans, arabinogalactans and galactoglucomannans. Xylanases, enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of this material, are produced mainly by microorganisms, among which filamentous fungi are particularly interesting, as they secrete high enzyme levels into the medium. In recent years, biotechnological application of xylanases has been considerably increasing, and the use of these enzymes in the bleaching of cellulose pulp excels as a promising solution for the reduction of compounds that are pollutant to the environment. Thus, given the vast potential of xylanolytic enzymes, this project proposes to optimise the production of xylanases for application in cellulose pulp bleaching, and in order to do so, Aspergillus aculeatus, a filamentous fungus, will be used, once this microorganism has shown great potential in xylanases production.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: