Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method to produce cellulase enzymes by utilizing agroinfiltration to transiently express full-length cellulases in plant tissue.
Cellulosic biomass is a potential source of glucose, which can then be fermented into products such as foods or beverages, bioethanol and bulk or specialty chemicals. However, a synergistic set of enzymes is needed to degrade cellulose into glucose. Typically, these enzymes are produced by fungal cell culture – a process that normally generates significant amounts of CO2 as a byproduct and has high capital costs. Thus, there is a need for an alternate, more efficient, system of enzyme production that consumes less energy at lower total costs and results in a lower overall carbon footprint.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method by which cellulase enzymes may be produced in a non-transgenic plant host using agroinfiltration of harvested plant tissue. This method has demonstrated that the detached, harvested tissue can produce a similar enzyme output as would be produced by intact plants. Enzyme production is monitored over time as intact plants and harvested leaves are stored in different environments. This proven process is more cost-effective and has a lower environmental impact than existing enzyme production methods.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||8,674,178||03/18/2014||2009-109|
Cellulase enzyme production, agroinfiltration, Cellulosic biomass conversion