The aim of this work is to combine metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses to determine the genetic code and protein synthesis which underlies the mechanisms of wheat straw (WS) deconstruction by anaerobes native to sewage sludge. The untapped ecosystem will be mined for previously undiscovered enzymes with the potential for use in lignocellulose bio-refineries as green alternatives to chemical pre-treatments. Enzyme discovery will be facilitated by the application of a biotin-tagging method that has recently been developed to purify and identify secreted enzymes which bind to WS. Biotin-tagging overcomes the practical challenge of contamination by intracellular proteins caused by the aggression of extraction procedures which are necessary to detach the enzymes of interest from their lignocellulosic substrates.
Harper Adams University
University of York & Durham University