Project: Enzymatic systems responsible for the degradation of the hemi-cellulolytic portion of biomass: Structure-function relationships in the individual enzymes, synergism and potential industrial applications.
01-DEC-00 – 31-DEC-02
The hemicellulose portion of biomass is composed mainly of mannans and xylans, which are substituted polysaccharides. Their biodegradation, therefore, is complex and involves a number of different enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of specific bonds. These enzymes are produced mainly by bacteria and fungi, and are mostly extracellular. They have a considerable industrial importance and are for some purposes expressed heterologously, e.g. in yeasts. The main interest in microbial mannanases and sylanases (and esterases) is based on their possible applications in the food industry and in the preparation of oligosaccharides used as food additives. Detergent industries, breweries and baking industries also show a growing interest in these enzymes and use them in specific applications.