Topic Editors

Microbial Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal

Microbial Biotechnology Products and Biocatalysis Processes for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Abstract submission deadline
30 June 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
5155

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topic on “Microbial Biotechnology Products and Biocatalysis Processes for a Sustainable Bioeconomy” aims to promote the potential of microbial biotechnology products for a sustainable bioeconomy. The discovery of new products has been addressed by multidisciplinary teams, for example, combining knowledge on microbiology, biotechnology, and chemistry. Therefore, this Topic should focus on screenings and characterization of new bio-based products, new microbial producers, and optimization of biotechnological processes by reducing production waste and cost, leading to more sustainable processes and enhancing the circular economy. On the other hand, we are also interested to describe the actual biocatalysts in more detail. In recent years, many new biocatalysts have been described and studied mostly from a biocatalytic perspective. Since more and more (meta)genome data become available, even more of those studies will appear and add to our knowledge on novel reactions and enzymes. However, the transfer to application needs more attention and, thus, scale-up. Enzyme production and optimization in combination with product isolation also need more attention. Thus, this Topic aims to focus also on this chain, including the identification of novel enzymes from bioprospecting activities, producing enzymes and increasing yields from various host organisms, engineering biocatalysts by means of site-directed mutagenesis or directed evolution, putting enzymes together—even with chemical synthesis—yielding novel chemoenzymatic cascades, product isolation after processing or in situ, and even combinatorial approaches towards new products. All this needs research in the field of biocatalysis and biotransformation to bring us to new frontiers.

This issue will focus on the following areas:

  • Circular economy by finding new products, new biodegradable microbial polymers, new processes that can create value-added products from wastes or from other secondary metabolites, and by reducing the cost of the production;
  • Sustainable agriculture through microbial products such as biopesticides and biofertilizers with low impact to human health and which potentiate the sustainability;
  • Environmental remediation using microbes or their products as effective tools to reduce environmental contaminants;
  • Emerging technologies through a combination of multi-omics potentiating and accelerating the discovery of new microbial products;
  • Bioprospecting towards new enzymes and cell-factories including their detailed characterization; and
  • Engineering enzymes or even cellular systems towards a more applied routine in view of sustainability and to contribute to circular economy.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Tischler
Dr. Diogo Neves Proença
Dr. Paula Maria Vasconcelos Morais
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • bioprospecting
  • chemoenzymatic cascades
  • enzyme engineering
  • product isolation
  • combinatorial screening
  • circular economy
  • sustainability
  • raw materials
  • bioeconomy
  • pest management

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.7 4.5 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2400 Submit
BioTech
biotech
- 4.4 2012 19.6 Days CHF 1600 Submit
Catalysts
catalysts
3.9 6.3 2011 14.3 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Processes
processes
3.5 4.7 2013 13.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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23 pages, 3951 KiB  
Article
Thermostable CaCO3-Immobilized Bacillus subtilis Lipase for Sustainable Biodiesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil
by Wafa A. Alshehri, Nouf H. Alghamdi, Ashjan F. Khalel, Meshal H. Almalki, Bilel Hadrich and Adel Sayari
Catalysts 2024, 14(4), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal14040253 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Due to the increasing demand for green processes in renewable energy production, the extracellular Bacillus subtilis B-1-4 lipase was used as a biocatalyst for producing biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Response surface methodology was employed for the optimization of enzyme production. Lipase activity [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing demand for green processes in renewable energy production, the extracellular Bacillus subtilis B-1-4 lipase was used as a biocatalyst for producing biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Response surface methodology was employed for the optimization of enzyme production. Lipase activity was modeled with a quadratic function of four factors that primarily influence the culture medium. Thanks to this model, an optimal lipase activity of 1.7 ± 0.082 U/mL was achieved with the best culture medium composition: 16 g/L of tryptone, 15 g/L of yeast extract, 15 g/L of NaCl, and a 0.15 initial optical density at 600 nm (OD600 nm). The maximal lipase activity was measured at 45 °C and pH 8, using para-nitrophenyl palmitate as a substrate. The enzyme maintained above 94% and 99% of its initial activity at temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 °C and at pH 8, respectively. Moreover, it exhibited a higher residual activity than other Bacillus lipases in the presence of organic solvents. Residual activities of 86.7% and 90.2% were measured in the presence of isopropanol and ethanol, respectively. The lipase was immobilized by adsorption onto CaCO3 powder. FT-IR and SEM were used to characterize the surface-modified support. After immobilization, a lipase activity of 7.1 U/mg of CaCO3 was obtained. Under the optimized conditions, the highest biodiesel yield of 71% was obtained through the transesterification of waste cooking oil using the CaCO3-immobilized Bacillus subtilis lipase. This research reveals a method for the utilization of waste cooking oil for biodiesel production using an efficient immobilized thermostable lipase, providing environmental and economic security. Full article
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12 pages, 2031 KiB  
Article
Styrene Production in Genetically Engineered Escherichia coli in a Two-Phase Culture
by Shuhei Noda, Ryosuke Fujiwara, Yutaro Mori, Mayumi Dainin, Tomokazu Shirai and Akihiko Kondo
BioTech 2024, 13(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/biotech13010002 - 14 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Styrene is an important industrial chemical. Although several studies have reported microbial styrene production, the amount of styrene produced in batch cultures can be increased. In this study, styrene was produced using genetically engineered Escherichia coli. First, we evaluated five types of [...] Read more.
Styrene is an important industrial chemical. Although several studies have reported microbial styrene production, the amount of styrene produced in batch cultures can be increased. In this study, styrene was produced using genetically engineered Escherichia coli. First, we evaluated five types of phenylalanine ammonia lyases (PALs) from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtPAL) and Brachypodium distachyon (BdPAL) for their ability to produce trans-cinnamic acid (Cin), a styrene precursor. AtPAL2-expressing E. coli produced approximately 700 mg/L of Cin and we found that BdPALs could convert Cin into styrene. To assess styrene production, we constructed an E. coli strain that co-expressed AtPAL2 and ferulic acid decarboxylase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After a biphasic culture with oleyl alcohol, styrene production and yield from glucose were 3.1 g/L and 26.7% (mol/mol), respectively, which, to the best of our knowledge, are the highest values obtained in batch cultivation. Thus, this strain can be applied to the large–scale industrial production of styrene. Full article
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25 pages, 4507 KiB  
Article
Biocatalysts Based on Immobilized Lipases for the Production of Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters: Enhancement of Activity through Ionic Additives and Ion Exchange Supports
by Juan S. Pardo-Tamayo, Sebastián Arteaga-Collazos, Laura C. Domínguez-Hoyos and César A. Godoy
BioTech 2023, 12(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/biotech12040067 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Ionic additives affect the structure, activity and stability of lipases, which allow for solving common application challenges, such as preventing the formation of protein aggregates or strengthening enzyme–support binding, preventing their desorption in organic media. This work aimed to design a biocatalyst, based [...] Read more.
Ionic additives affect the structure, activity and stability of lipases, which allow for solving common application challenges, such as preventing the formation of protein aggregates or strengthening enzyme–support binding, preventing their desorption in organic media. This work aimed to design a biocatalyst, based on lipase improved by the addition of ionic additives, applicable in the production of ethyl esters of fatty acids (EE). Industrial enzymes from Thermomyces lanuginosus (TLL), Rhizomucor miehei (RML), Candida antárctica B (CALB) and Lecitase®, immobilized in commercial supports like Lewatit®, Purolite® and Q-Sepharose®, were tested. The best combination was achieved by immobilizing lipase TLL onto Q-Sepharose® as it surpassed, in terms of %EE (70.1%), the commercial biocatalyst Novozyme® 435 (52.7%) and was similar to that of Lipozyme TL IM (71.3%). Hence, the impact of ionic additives like polymers and surfactants on both free and immobilized TLL on Q-Sepharose® was assessed. It was observed that, when immobilized, in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), the TLL derivative exhibited a significantly higher activity, with a 93-fold increase (1.02 IU), compared to the free enzyme under identical conditions (0.011 IU). In fatty acids ethyl esters synthesis, Q-SDS-TLL novel derivatives achieved results similar to commercial biocatalysts using up to ~82 times less enzyme (1 mg/g). This creates an opportunity to develop biocatalysts with reduced enzyme consumption, a factor often associated with higher production costs. Such advancements would ease their integration into the biodiesel industry, fostering a greener production approach compared to conventional methods. Full article
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11 pages, 571 KiB  
Article
Detection and Characterization of Electrogenic Bacteria from Soils
by Ana Rumora, Liliana Hopkins, Kayla Yim, Melissa F. Baykus, Luisa Martinez and Luis Jimenez
BioTech 2023, 12(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/biotech12040065 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1731
Abstract
Soil microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are bioelectrical devices powered by the oxidation of organic and inorganic compounds due to microbial activity. Seven soils were randomly selected from Bergen Community College or areas nearby, located in the state of New Jersey, USA, were used [...] Read more.
Soil microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are bioelectrical devices powered by the oxidation of organic and inorganic compounds due to microbial activity. Seven soils were randomly selected from Bergen Community College or areas nearby, located in the state of New Jersey, USA, were used to screen for the presence of electrogenic bacteria. SMFCs were incubated at 35–37 °C. Electricity generation and electrogenic bacteria were determined using an application developed for cellular phones. Of the seven samples, five generated electricity and enriched electrogenic bacteria. Average electrical output for the seven SMFCs was 155 microwatts with the start-up time ranging from 1 to 11 days. The highest output and electrogenic bacterial numbers were found with SMFC-B1 with 143 microwatts and 2.99 × 109 electrogenic bacteria after 15 days. Optimal electrical output and electrogenic bacterial numbers ranged from 1 to 21 days. Microbial DNA was extracted from the top and bottom of the anode of SMFC-B1 using the ZR Soil Microbe DNA MiniPrep Protocol followed by PCR amplification of 16S rRNA V3-V4 region. Next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA genes generated an average of 58 k sequences. BLAST analysis of the anode bacterial community in SMFC-B1 demonstrated that the predominant bacterial phylum was Bacillota of the class Clostridia (50%). However, bacteria belonging to the phylum Pseudomonadota (15%) such as Magnetospirillum sp. and Methylocaldum gracile were also part of the predominant electrogenic bacterial community in the anode. Unidentified uncultured bacteria accounted for 35% of the predominant bacterial community. Bioelectrical devices such as MFCs provide sustainable and clean alternatives to future applications for electricity generation, waste treatment, and biosensors. Full article
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