FURI | Spring 2021

Engineering Bacteria to Secrete Cellulases for Breaking Down Cellulose into Glucose

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Cellulases are enzymes that are crucial for the breakdown of cellulose into glucose, the primary carbon source in bacterial systems. However, the current method of using commercial cellulases is very costly. Present work aims at engineering bacterial strains for efficient cellulase production. Bacteria was engineered for expression of beta glucosidase and the enzyme activity was studied using pNPG assay. As a first step, we were able to confirm the secretion of two glucosidase with 5 fold increase compared to wild type strain. The ultimate aim is to develop a consolidated bioprocess that converts cellulose biopolymer into utility chemicals.

Student researcher

Carlos Beiza

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021