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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 30;110(18):7182-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302420110. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Enzymatic transformation of nonfood biomass to starch.

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  • 1Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

Abstract

The global demand for food could double in another 40 y owing to growth in the population and food consumption per capita. To meet the world's future food and sustainability needs for biofuels and renewable materials, the production of starch-rich cereals and cellulose-rich bioenergy plants must grow substantially while minimizing agriculture's environmental footprint and conserving biodiversity. Here we demonstrate one-pot enzymatic conversion of pretreated biomass to starch through a nonnatural synthetic enzymatic pathway composed of endoglucanase, cellobiohydrolyase, cellobiose phosphorylase, and alpha-glucan phosphorylase originating from bacterial, fungal, and plant sources. A special polypeptide cap in potato alpha-glucan phosphorylase was essential to push a partially hydrolyzed intermediate of cellulose forward to the synthesis of amylose. Up to 30% of the anhydroglucose units in cellulose were converted to starch; the remaining cellulose was hydrolyzed to glucose suitable for ethanol production by yeast in the same bioreactor. Next-generation biorefineries based on simultaneous enzymatic biotransformation and microbial fermentation could address the food, biofuels, and environment trilemma.

PMID:
23589840
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3645547
Free PMC Article
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