Project Title: Discovery of Novel Lignin-Degrading Genes in Bacteria Using Metagenomic and Proteomic Approach for Enhanced Saccharification of Plant Biomass
Principal Investigators and affiliations:
PI: Dr. Babu Fathepure (Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI: Dr. Patricia Canaan (Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI: Dr. Rolf Prade (Oklahoma State University)
Start Date: 7/11/2011 End Date: 12/31/2014
Most studies to date have focused on fungi for lignin degrading enzymes and little attention has been given to bacterial role in the breakdown of lignin. This work seeks to explore bacteria for novel enzymes because they may provide a conceptually different mechanism of lignin degradation reflective of their metabolic and evolutionary differences from fungi. The work will use metagenomic and proteomic approaches for discovering novel enzymes of industrial significance. The proposed project affords tremendous opportunity for collaboration with industries involved in the production of biofuel, the dissemination of the research findings, and providing basic research to answer the practical questions.