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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2004 Mar;64(1):125-31. Epub 2003 Aug 8.

Isolation of microorganisms for biological detoxification of lignocellulosic hydrolysates.

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Area de Microbiología, Departamento de Biología Aplicada, CITE II-B, Universidad de Almería, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almeria, Spain.


Acid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass releases furan and phenolic compounds, which are toxic to microorganisms used for subsequent fermentation. In this study, we isolated new microorganisms for depletion of inhibitors in lignocellulosic acid hydrolysates. A sequential enrichment strategy was used to isolate microorganisms from soil. Selection was carried out in a defined mineral medium containing a mixture of ferulic acid (5 mM), 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF, 15 mM), and furfural (20 mM) as the carbon and energy sources, followed by an additional transfer into a corn stover hydrolysate (CSH) prepared using dilute acid. Subsequently, based on stable growth on these substrates, six isolates--including five bacteria related to Methylobacterium extorquens, Pseudomonas sp, Flavobacterium indologenes, Acinetobacter sp., Arthrobacter aurescens, and one fungus, Coniochaeta ligniaria--were chosen. All six isolates depleted toxic compounds from defined medium, but only C. ligniaria C8 (NRRL 30616) was effective at eliminating furfural and 5-HMF from CSH. C. ligniaria NRRL 30616 may be useful in developing a bioprocess for inhibitor abatement in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals.

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