FURI | Fall 2019

Hydrolysis of Biomass Derived Cellulose and Hemicellulose with Engineered Bacillus subtilis Strains

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Limited fossil fuel sources have increased the need for sustainable biofuels. While biofuel industry uses sugars derived from cellulose and hemicellulose as carbon feedstock, the process to degrade and utilize these polymers is inefficient and expensive. The research team in the Varman lab on engineering Bacillus subtilis such that bacteria directly secrete enzymes for the hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose to sugars. Compared to the wild type, B. subtilis recombinant containing SacC-glucosidase gene saw a 2.1 times increase in the secretion of glucosidase enzyme and SacC-xylanase gene saw a 2 times increase in the degradation of xylan.

Student researcher

Bethany Kalscheur

Bethany Ann Kalscheur

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Queen Creek, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021