Biomass Depolymerization projects
Enzyme Discovery in Grass-Feeding Termites for the Depolymerization of Lignocellulosic Biomass - Completed
This project studied enzymes for the depolymerization of C4 grass biomass by looking in the hindgut of the termite, which efficiently transforms plant biomass into sugars, short-chain fatty acids, hydrogen, and methane. The bacteria and archaea living in the termite hindgut do this work, with the host providing a controlled environment and finely chewed plant material to increase the surface area on which microorganisms can act. Hence the system can be viewed as a miniature bioreactor for plant biomass decomposition.
Published in 2010
Validation of Two Ribosomal RNA Removal Methods for Microbial Metatranscriptomics, Shaomei He, Omri Wurtzel, Kanwar Singh, Jeff Froula, Susan Yilmaz, Susannah Tringe, Zhong Wang, Feng Chen, Erika Lundquist, Rotem Sorek and Phillip Hugenholtz, Nature Methods, 7: 807-812, September 19, 2010.