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Title: NREL Explains the Higher Cellulolytic Activity of a Vital Microorganism

The discovery of a new mode of action by C. thermocellum to convert biomass to biofuels is significant because the bacterium is already recognized as one of the most effective in the biosphere. Researchers found that, in addition to using common cellulase degradation mechanisms attached to cells, C. thermocellum also uses a new category of cell-free scaffolded enzymes. The new discovery will influence the strategies used to improve the cellulolytic activity of biomass degrading microbes going forward. Better understanding of this bacterium could lead to cheaper production of ethanol and drop-in fuels. Also, this discovery demonstrates that nature's biomass conversion behaviors are not fully understood and remain as opportunities for future microbial/enzyme engineering efforts.
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DOE Contract Number:
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; C.thermocellum; biomass; biofuel; bioenergy