Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (v.184, #2)

The aim of this study is to use steered molecular dynamics to investigate the dissociation process between IRK and PTP1Bs for wild type and five mutants (consisting of p.D181E, p.D181A, p.Q262A, p.D181A-Y46F, and p.D181A-Q262A). The gained results are observed not only the unbinding mechanism of IRK-PTP1B complexes came from pulling force profile, number of hydrogen bonds, and interaction energy between IRK and PTP1Bs but also described PTP1B’s point mutations could variably change its binding affinity towards IRK. Additionally, the binding free energy calculated by Molecular Mechanics/Poisson-Boltzmann Surface Area (MM-PBSA) is also revealed that electrostatic energy and polar solvation energy mainly made up the binding free energy of PTP1B-IRK complexes.
Keywords: SMD; IRK-PTP1Bs; MM-PBSA; Binding free energy

Polygonum tinctorium Lour (indigo plant) has been regarded as a useful medicinal plant for traditional herbal medicine. The polyphenolic fraction of indigo leaves exhibited anti-inflammatory activities as determined by the suppressed synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) in cultured RAW264 macrophage cells. The acid hydrolysate of the fraction showed much more potent effect than the unhydrolyzed one. In sharp contrast, those fractions of indigo stems had almost no effect. 3,5,4′-Trihydroxy-6,7-methylenedioxyflavone (TMF)-O-glycosides and tryptanthrin were detected exclusively in the extracts of the leaves. The isolated flavonol species were furthermore tested for their anti-inflammatory activities against the synthesis of NO and prostaglandin E2 in the cultured macrophage cells. More potent anti-inflammatory effects were recognized with different aglycones of flavonols than their flavonol O-glycosides. Although the inhibitory effects of TMF were less effective than those of tryptanthrin, the levels of flavonol O-glycosides with TMF were much more abundant than those of tryptanthrin in the leaves. Oral administration of the fraction containing flavonol O-glycosides with TMF into mice revealed the detection of free TMF in the blood circulation, indicating that the aglycone moiety can be cleaved by digestive enzymes and absorbed in the gut. Alternatively, the assay of hydrophilic oxygen radical absorbance capacity revealed that the isolated species of flavonol O-glycosides with TMF and their aglycone had appreciable antioxidant activities. Taken together, our findings suggest that the predominant flavonol O-glycosides with TMF as an aglycone could be promising natural agents for the application to herbal medicine, nutraceuticals, and food additives.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory activity; Antioxidant activity; Polygonum tinctorium Lour; Flavonol O-glycosides; 3,5,4′-Trihydroxy-6,7-methylenedioxyflavone; Indigo leaves

Effects of Liquid Hot Water Pretreatment on Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Physicochemical Changes of Corncobs by Saksit Imman; Navadol Laosiripojana; Verawat Champreda (432-443).
Liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment is an efficient chemical-free strategy for enhancing enzymatic digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass for conversion to fuels and chemicals in biorefinery. In this study, effects of LHW on removals of hemicelluloses and lignin from corncobs were studied under varying reaction conditions. LHW pretreatment at 160 °C for 10 min promoted the highest levels of hemicellulose solubilization into the liquid phase, resulting into the maximized pentose yield of 58.8% in the liquid and more than 60% removal of lignin from the solid, with 73.1% glucose recovery from enzymatic hydrolysis of the pretreated biomass using 10 FPU/g Celluclast™. This led to the maximal glucose and pentose recoveries of 81.9 and 71.2%, respectively, when combining sugars from the liquid phase from LHW and hydrolysis of the solid. Scanning electron microscopy revealed disruption of the intact biomass structure allowing increasing enzyme’s accessibility to the cellulose microfibers which showed higher crystallinity index compared to the native biomass as shown by x-ray diffraction with a marked increase in surface area as revealed by BET measurement. The work provides an insight into effects of LHW on modification of physicochemical properties of corncobs and an efficient approach for its processing in biorefinery industry.
Keywords: Corncob; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Lignocelluloses; Liquid hot water; Pretreatment

Comparison of Flow Cytometry and ELASA for Screening of Proper Candidate Aptamer in Cell-SELEX Pool by Maryam Sadat Nabavinia; Fahimeh Charbgoo; Mona Alibolandi; Fatemeh Mosaffa; Aida Gholoobi; Mohammad Ramezani; Khalil Abnous (444-452).
Aptamers are single-stranded RNA or DNA, which bind to their target with high affinity and specificity. Method of isolating aptamers against cell surface protein is called cell-SELEX. Common approach for monitoring cell-SELEX developed aptamers is flow cytometry. Since flow cytometry is costly and requires sophisticated equipments, we suggested implementing easy access, high throughput enzyme-link apta-sorbent assay test (ELASA) to confirm the specificity of aptamers selected through cell-SELEX process. In this regard, we compared ELASA and flow cytometry techniques in order to screen potent candidate aptamers against A2780 Rcis cell line, which were selected by cell-SELEX. The obtained results demonstrated that both ELASA and flow cytometry are identical in terms of sensivity and precision for aptamers selection. Then it could be concluded that ELASA method could be used as a versatile, inexpensive procedure for in vito evaluation of isolated aptamers from cell-SELEX based process.
Keywords: Cell-SELEX; Aptamer; ELISA; ELASA; Flow cytometry

Design and Properties of an Immobilization Enzyme System for Inulin Conversion by Hua Hang; Changbao Wang; Yiqun Cheng; Ning Li; Liuli Song (453-470).
A commercial inulinase could convert inulin into fructose, which was optimized to be entrapped in the calcium alginate-gelatin beads with the immobilization yield of 86% for free inulinase activities. The optimum pH values and temperatures were 4.5 and 40 °C for the free enzyme and 5.0–5.5 and 45–50 °C for the immobilized enzyme. The kinetic parameters of V max and K m were 5.24 μmol/min and 57.6 mg/mL for the free inulinase and 4.32 μmol/min and 65.8 mg/mL for the immobilized inulinase, respectively. The immobilized enzyme retained 80% of its initial activities at 45 °C for 4 days, which could exhibit better thermal stability. The reuse of immobilized inulinase throughout the continuous batch operations was explored, which had better reusability of the immobilized biocatalyst. At the same time, the stability of immobilized enzyme in the continuous packed-bed bioreactor was estimated, which showed the better results and had its potential scale-up fructose production for inulin conversion.
Keywords: Immobilization; Inulinase; Inulin conversion; Operational stability

Thermal Pretreatment of Harvest Residues and Their Use in Anaerobic Co-digestion with Dairy Cow Manure by Đurđica Kovačić; Davor Kralik; Daria Jovičić; Slavko Rupčić; Brigita Popović; Marina Tišma (471-483).
Several batch experiments were conducted on the anaerobic co-digestion of dairy cow manure (DCM) with three harvest residues (HR) (soybean straw, sunflower stalks, and corn stover). The influence of thermal pretreatment of HR on biogas production was investigated, where the HR were thermally pretreated at two different temperatures: T = 121 °C and T = 175 °C, during t = 30 and t = 90 min, respectively. All anaerobic co-digestion batch experiments were performed simultaneously under thermophilic regime, at T = 55 °C. Biogas and methane yields were significantly improved in experiments performed with corn stover thermally pretreated at 175 °C for 30 min (491.37 cm3/g VS and 306.96 cm3/g VS, respectively), if compared to experiments performed with untreated corn stover. The highest VS and COD removal rates were also observed in the same group of experiments and were 34.5 and 50.1%, respectively. The highest biogas and methane yields with soybean straw (418.93 cm3/g VS and 261.44 cm3/g VS, respectively) were obtained when soybean straw pretreated at 121 °C during 90 min. The highest biogas and methane yields with sunflower stalk (393.28 cm3/g VS and 245.02 cm3/g VS, respectively) were obtained when sunflower stalk was pretreated at 121 °C during 90 min.
Keywords: Anaerobic co-digestion; Dairy cow manure; Soybean straw; Sunflower stalks; Corn stover

In Silico Analysis of Fatty Acid Desaturase Genes and Proteins in Grasses by Marina Lucía Díaz; Selva Cuppari; Daniela Soresi; Alicia Carrera (484-499).
Fatty acid desaturases (FADs) catalyze the introduction of a double bond into acyl chains. Two FAD groups have been identified in plants: acyl-acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) and acyl-lipid or membrane-bound FAD. The former catalyze the conversion of 18:0 to 18:1 and to date have only been identified in plants. The latter are found in eukaryotes and bacteria and are responsible for multiple desaturations. In this study, we identified 82 desaturase gene and protein sequences from 10 grass species deposited in GenBank that were analyzed using bioinformatic approaches. Subcellular localization predictions of desaturase family revealed their localization in plasma membranes, chloroplasts, endoplasmic reticula, and mitochondria. The in silico mapping showed multiple chromosomal locations in most species. Furthermore, the presence of the characteristic histidine domains, the predicted motifs, and the finding of transmembrane regions strongly support the protein functionality. The identification of putative regulatory sites in the promotor and the expression profiles revealed the wide range of pathways in which fatty acid desaturases are involved. This study is an updated survey on desaturases of grasses that provides a comprehensive insight into diversity and evolution. This characterization is a necessary first step before considering these genes as candidates for new biotechnological approaches.
Keywords: Plant desaturases; In silico expression analysis; Grasses; Domain prediction

1-amino cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACCA) and its derivatives are essential pharmacophoric unit that widely used in drug research and development. Specifically, (1R, 2S)-N-Boc-vinyl-ACCA ethyl ester (vinyl-ACCA) is a key chiral intermediate in the synthesis of highly potent hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitors such as asunaprevir and simeprevir. Developing strategies for the asymmetric synthesis of vinyl-ACCA is thus extremely high demand. In this study, 378 bacterial strains were isolated from soil samples using N-Boc-vinyl-ACCA ethyl ester as the sole carbon source and were screened for esterase activity. Fourteen of which worked effectively for the asymmetric synthesis of (1R, 2S)-N-Boc-1-vinyl ACCA ethyl ester. The strain CY-2, identified as Sphingomonas aquatilis, which showed the highest stability and enantioselectivity was selected as whole cell biocatalyst for further study. A systematic study of all factors influencing the enzymatic hydrolysis was performed. Under optimized conditions, resolution of rac-vinyl-ACCA to (1R, 2S)-N-Boc-1-vinyl ACCA ethyl ester with 88.2% ee and 62.4% conversion (E = 9) was achieved. Besides, S. aquatilis was also used to transform other 10 different substrates. Notably, it was found that 7 of them could be stereoselectively hydrolyzed, especially for (1R,2S)-1-amino-vinyl-ACCA ethyl ester hydrochloride (99.6% ee, E>200). Our investigations provide a new efficient whole cell biocatalyst for resolution of ACCA and might be developed for industry application.
Keywords: Biocatalysis; Sphingomonas aquatilis ; Hepatitis C virus inhibitor; 1-amino cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid(ACCA)

Bioethanol Production from Soybean Residue via Separate Hydrolysis and Fermentation by Trung Hau Nguyen; Chae Hun Ra; In Yung Sunwoo; Pailin Sukwong; Gwi-Taek Jeong; Sung-Koo Kim (513-523).
Bioethanol was produced using polysaccharide from soybean residue as biomass by separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF). This study focused on pretreatment, enzyme saccharification, and fermentation. Pretreatment to obtain monosaccharide was carried out with 20% (w/v) soybean residue slurry and 270 mmol/L H2SO4 at 121 °C for 60 min. More monosaccharide was obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis with a 16 U/mL mixture of commercial enzymes C-Tec 2 and Viscozyme L at 45 °C for 48 h. Ethanol fermentation with 20% (w/v) soybean residue hydrolysate was performed using wild-type and Saccharomyces cerevisiae KCCM 1129 adapted to high concentrations of galactose, using a flask and 5-L fermenter. When the wild type of S. cerevisiae was used, an ethanol production of 20.8 g/L with an ethanol yield of 0.31 g/g consumed glucose was obtained. Ethanol productions of 33.9 and 31.6 g/L with ethanol yield of 0.49 g/g consumed glucose and 0.47 g/g consumed glucose were obtained in a flask and a 5-L fermenter, respectively, using S. cerevisiae adapted to a high concentration of galactose. Therefore, adapted S. cerevisiae to galactose could enhance the overall ethanol fermentation yields compared to the wild-type one.
Keywords: Adaptation; Enzymatic saccharification; Fermentation; Soybean residue; Thermal acid hydrolysis

Producing biodiesel from microalgae grown in wastewater is environment-friendly and cost-effective. The present study investigated the algae found in wastewater of a local dairy farm for their potential as biodiesel feedstocks. Thirteen native algal strains were isolated. On the basis of morphology and 16S/18S rRNA gene sequences, one strain was identified to be a member of cyanobacteria, while other 12 strains belong to green algae. After screening, two Scenedesmus strains out of the 13 microalgae isolates demonstrated superiority in growth rate, lipid productivity, and sedimentation properties, and therefore were selected for further scale-up outdoor cultivation. Both Scenedesmus strains quickly adapted to the outdoor conditions, exhibiting reasonably good growth and strong anti-contamination capabilities. In flat-plate photobioreactors (PBRs), algal cells accumulated predominantly neutral lipids that accounted for over 60% of total lipids with almost 70% being triacylglycerol. In addition, Scenedesmus obliquus had a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, of which the amount of oleic acid (C18:1) was up to 27.11%. Based on these findings, the dairy farm wastewater-isolated Scenedesmus strains represent promising sources of low-cost, high-quality oil for biofuel production.
Keywords: Wastewater; 16S/18S rRNA; Screening; Lipids; Outdoor PBRs

In this study, two different materials—alginate and glutaraldehyde-activated chitosan beads—were used for the co-immobilization of α-amylase, protease, and pectinase. Firstly, optimization of multienzyme immobilization with Na alginate beads was carried out. Optimum Na alginate and CaCl2 concentration were found to be 2.5% and 0.1 M, respectively, and optimal enzyme loading ratio was determined as 2:1:0.02 for pectinase, protease, and α-amylase, respectively. Next, the immobilization of multiple enzymes on glutaraldehyde-activated chitosan beads was optimized (3% chitosan concentration, 0.25% glutaraldehyde with 3 h of activation and 3 h of coupling time). While co-immobilization was successfully performed with both materials, the specific activities of enzymes were found to be higher for the enzymes co-immobilized with glutaraldehyde-activated chitosan beads. In this process, glutaraldehyde was acting as a spacer arm. SEM and FTIR were used for the characterization of activated chitosan beads. Moreover, pectinase and α-amylase enzymes immobilized with chitosan beads were also found to have higher activity than their free forms. Three different enzymes were co-immobilized with these two materials for the first time in this study.
Keywords: Pectinase; Protease; α-Amylase; Sodium alginate beads; Glutaraldehyde-activated chitosan beads

Production of Fumaric Acid by Bioconversion of Corncob Hydrolytes Using an Improved Rhizopus oryzae Strain by Xuefeng Wu; Qing Liu; Yongdong Deng; Xiaoju Chen; Zhi Zheng; Shaotong Jiang; Xingjiang Li (553-569).
The use of microorganism fermentation for production of fumaric acid (FA), which is widely used in food, medicine, and other fields, can provide technical support for the FA industry. In this study, we aimed to increase the titer of FA production by using an improved Rhizopus oryzae WHT5, which was domesticated to obtain a furfural-resistant strain in corncob hydrolytes. The metabolic pathways and metabolic network of this strain were investigated, and the related enzymes and metabolic flux were analyzed. Metabolic pathway analysis showed that the R. oryzae WHT5 strain produced FA mainly through two pathways. One occurred in the cytoplasm and the other was a mitochondrial pathway. The key parameters of the fermentation process were analyzed. The FA titer was 49.05 g/L from corncob hydrolytes using R. oryzae WHT5 in a 7-L bioreactor. The use of a furfural-resistant strain developed through domestication effectively increased the titer of FA. This capacity of the microorganisms to produce high amounts of FA by bioconverting corncob hydrolyte can be further applied for industrial production of FA.
Keywords: Corncob hydrolytes; Furfural-resistant; Fumaric acid; Metabolic network; Rhizopus oryzae

Heterologous Expression of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase in Lactococcus lactis for Acetaldehyde Detoxification at Low pH by Yunbin Lyu; Gisèle LaPointe; Lei Zhong; Jing Lu; Chong Zhang; Zhaoxin Lu (570-581).
Aldehyde dehydrogenase (E.C. 1.2.1.x) can catalyze detoxification of acetaldehydes. A novel acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (istALDH) from the non-Saccharomyces yeast Issatchenkia terricola strain XJ-2 has been previously characterized. In this work, Lactococcus lactis with the NIsin Controlled Expression (NICE) System was applied to express the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (istALDH) in order to catalyze oxidation of acetaldehyde at low pH. A recombinant L. lactis NZ3900 was obtained and applied for the detoxification of acetaldehyde as whole-cell biocatalysts. The activity of IstALDH in L. lactis NZ3900 (pNZ8148-istALDH) reached 36.4 U mL−1 when the recombinant cells were induced with 50 ng mL−1 nisin at 20 °C for 2 h. The IstALDH activity of recombinant L. lactis cells showed higher stability at 37 °C and pH 4.0 compared with the crude enzyme. L. lactis NZ3900 (pNZ8148-istALDH) could convert acetaldehyde at pH 2.0 while the crude enzyme could not. Moreover, the resting cells of L. lactis NZ3900 (pNZ8148-istALDH) showed a 2.5-fold higher activity and better stability in catalyzing oxidation of acetaldehyde at pH 2.0 compared with that of Escherichia coli expressing the IstALDH. Taken together, the L. lactis cells expressing recombinant IstALDH are potential whole-cell biocatalysts that can be applied in the detoxification of aldehydes.
Keywords: Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase; Lactococcus lactis ; Whole-cell biocatalysts; Acetaldehyde oxidation; Low pH

Genome-Wide Survey and Characterization of Fatty Acid Desaturase Gene Family in Brassica napus and Its Parental Species by Yufei Xue; Baojun Chen; Rui Wang; Aung Naing Win; Jiana Li; Yourong Chai (582-598).
Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is an important oilseed crop worldwide, and fatty acid (FA) compositions determine the nutritional and economic value of its seed oil. Fatty acid desaturases (FADs) play a pivotal role in regulating FA compositions, but to date, no comprehensive genome-wide analysis of FAD gene family in rapeseed and its parent species has been reported. In this study, using homology searches, 84, 45, and 44 FAD genes were identified in rapeseed, Brassica rapa, and Brassica oleracea genomes, respectively. These FAD genes were unevenly located in 17 chromosomes and 2 scaffolds of rapeseed, 9 chromosomes and 1 scaffold of B. rapa, and all the chromosomes of B. oleracea. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the soluble and membrane-bound FADs in the three Brassica species were divided into four and six subfamilies, respectively. Generally, the soluble FADs contained two conserved histidine boxes, while three highly conserved histidine boxes were harbored in membrane-bound FADs. Exon-intron structure, intron phase, and motif composition and position were highly conserved in each FAD subfamily. Putative subcellular locations of FAD proteins in three Brassica species were consistent with those of corresponding known FADs. In total, 25 of simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were found in FAD genes of the three Brassica species. Transcripts of selected FAD genes in the three species were examined in various organs/tissues or stress treatments from NCBI expressed sequence tag (EST) database. This study provides a critical molecular basis for quality improvement of rapeseed oil and facilitates our understanding of key roles of FAD genes in plant growth and development and stress response.
Keywords: Brassica napus ; Brassica rapa ; Brassica oleracea ; Fatty acid desaturase; Phylogenetic analysis; Expression patterns

Removal of Water-Soluble Extractives Improves the Enzymatic Digestibility of Steam-Pretreated Softwood Barks by Balázs Frankó; Karin Carlqvist; Mats Galbe; Gunnar Lidén; Ola Wallberg (599-615).
Softwood bark contains a large amounts of extractives—i.e., soluble lipophilic (such as resin acids) and hydrophilic components (phenolic compounds, stilbenes). The effects of the partial removal of water-soluble extractives before acid-catalyzed steam pretreatment on enzymatic digestibility were assessed for two softwood barks—Norway spruce and Scots pine. A simple hot water extraction step removed more than half of the water-soluble extractives from the barks, which improved the enzymatic digestibility of both steam-pretreated materials. This effect was more pronounced for the spruce than the pine bark, as evidenced by the 30 and 11% glucose yield improvement, respectively, in the enzymatic digestibility. Furthermore, analysis of the chemical composition showed that the acid-insoluble lignin content of the pretreated materials decreased when water-soluble extractives were removed prior to steam pretreatment. This can be explained by a decreased formation of water-insoluble “pseudo-lignin” from water-soluble bark phenolics during the acid-catalyzed pretreatment, which otherwise results in distorted lignin analysis and may also contribute to the impaired enzymatic digestibility of the barks. Thus, this study advocates the removal of extractives as the first step in the processing of bark or bark-rich materials in a sugar platform biorefinery.
Keywords: Softwood; Bark; Extractives; Steam pretreatment; Enzymatic saccharification

Improved Treatment and Utilization of Rice Straw by Coprinopsis cinerea by Wenming Zhang; Sihua Wu; Liyin Cai; Xiaole Liu; Hao Wu; Fengxue Xin; Min Zhang; Min Jiang (616-629).
As one of the most abundant renewable resources, rice straw is an attractive lignocellulosic material for animal feeding or for the production of biochemical. An appropriate pre-treatment technique is essential for converting rice straw to rich fodder or biofuel. Based on previous work, Coprinopsis cinerea can grow on rice straw medium and therefore it is useful for the treatment of rice straw. However, little is known regarding its degradation systems and nutrition values. In this study, we firstly found that C. cinerea could grow rapidly on rice straw without any additives by the production of a series of enzymes (laccase, cellulase, and xylanase) and that the microstructure and contents of rice straw changed significantly after being treated by C. cinerea. We propose that a possible underlying mechanism exists in the degradation. Moreover, C. cinerea has a high nutrition value (23.5% crude protein and 22.2% total amino acids). Hence, fermented rice straw with mycelium could be a good animal feedstuff resource instead of expensive forage. The direct usage of C. cinerea treatment is expected to be a practical, cost-effective, and environmental-friendly approach for enhancing the nutritive value and digestibility of rice straw.
Keywords: Rice straw; Coprinopsis cinerea ; Hydrolase; Nutrient value; Animal feed

With increasing demand for perfumes, flavors, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, the various associated industries are resorting to different approaches to enhance yields of desired compounds. The use of fixed-bed biocatalytic reactors in some of the processes for making fine chemicals will be of great value because the reaction times could be reduced substantially as well as high conversion and yields obtained. In the current study, a continuous-flow packed-bed reactor of immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B (Novozym 435) was employed for synthesis of various geraniol esters. Optimization of process parameters such as biocatalyst screening, effect of solvent, mole ratio, temperature and acyl donors was studied in a continuous-flow packed-bed reactor. Maximum conversion of ~ 87% of geranyl propionate was achieved in 15 min residence time at 70 °C using geraniol and propionic acid with a 1:1 mol ratio. Novozym 435 was found to be the most active and stable biocatalyst among all tested. Ternary complex mechanism with propionic acid inhibition was found to fit the data.
Keywords: Flow chemistry; Biocatalysis; Immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B; Geraniol; Enzyme kinetics

The amylase from Aureobasidium pullulans Cau 19 was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and Sephadex G-100 chromatography with a 9.25-fold increase in specific activity as compared to crude enzyme. Km and turn over values of the enzyme were 6.25 mg/mL and 5.0 × 102/min, respectively. Effect of different metal ions on the purified enzyme was investigated; 1 mM calcium (Ca) and cobalt (Co) enhanced enzyme activity by twofold; copper (Cu) had no effect on the activity of the enzyme. Mercury (Hg) 1 mM caused 90% inactivation whereas iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) caused 10 to 16% inhibition. Amylase from A. pullulans Cau 19 was bioconjugated to gold nanoparticles synthesized using the biomass of A. pullulans Cau 19. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the conjugation of the enzyme to the gold nanoparticles. Though, only 20% of the added enzyme was adsorbed/conjugated on gold nanoparticles, 80% of the adsorbed activity could be estimated in the assay. The conjugated enzyme exhibited better tolerance to a broad pH range of 3.0–9.0 and higher temperatures compared with native enzyme.
Keywords: Amylase; Aureobasidium pullulans ; Gold nanoparticles; Bioconjugates

Polyesters from Macrolactones Using Commercial Lipase NS 88011 and Novozym 435 as Biocatalysts by André Eliezer Polloni; Viviane Chiaradia; Eduardo Moresco Figura; João Pedro De Paoli; Débora de Oliveira; J. Vladimir de Oliveira; Pedro Henrique Hermes de Araujo; Claudia Sayer (659-672).
The demand for environmentally friendly products allied with the depletion of natural resources has increased the search for sustainable materials in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Polyesters are among the most widely used biodegradable polymers in biomedical applications. In this work, aliphatic polyesters (from globalide and ω-pentadecalactone) were synthesized using a new commercial biocatalyst, the low-cost immobilized NS 88011 lipase (lipase B from Candida antarctica immobilized on a hydrophobic support). Results were compared with those obtained under the same conditions using a traditional, but more expensive, commercial biocatalyst, Novozym 435 (lipase B from C. antarctica immobilized on Lewatit VP OC). When NS 88011 was used in the polymerization of globalide, longer reaction times (240 min)—when compared to Novozym 435—were required to obtain high yields (80–90 wt%). However, higher molecular weights were achieved. When poly(ω-pentadecalactone) was synthesized, high yields and molecular weights (130,000 g mol−1) were obtained and the enzyme concentration showed strong influence on the polyester properties. This is the first report describing NS 88011 in polymer synthesis. The use of this cheaper enzymatic preparation can provide an alternative for polyester synthesis via enzymatic ring-opening polymerization.
Keywords: Enzyme-catalyzed polymerization; NS 88011; Novozym 435; Poly(globalide); Poly(ω-pentadecalactone)

Bacterial strain NYT501, which we previously isolated from soil, was identified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and it was confirmed that this strain produces an intracellular β-N-acetylhexosaminidase exhibiting transglycosylation activity. Several properties of this enzyme were characterized using a partially purified enzyme preparation. Using N,N′-diacetylchitobiose (GlcNAc)2 and N,N′,N″-triacetylchitotriose (GlcNAc)3 as substrates and dried cells of this bacterium as a whole-cell catalyst, chitin oligosaccharides of higher degrees of polymerization were synthesized. (GlcNAc)3 was generated from (GlcNAc)2 as the major transglycosylation product, and a certain amount of purified sample of the trisaccharide was obtained. By contrast, in the case of the reaction using (GlcNAc)3 as a substrate, the yield of higher-degree polymerization oligosaccharides was comparatively low.
Keywords: Chitin oligosaccharide; β-N-acetylhexosaminidase; Transglycosylation; Stenotrophomonas maltophilia ; Enzymatic synthesis

Distilled grain waste (DGW) eluted from the Chinese liquor making process poses potential serious environmental problems. The objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of converting DGW to biogas by thermophilic dry anaerobic digestion. To improve biogas production, the effects of dilute H2SO4 and thermal pretreatment on DGW were evaluated by biochemical methane potential (BMP) tests. The results indicate that 90 °C thermal pretreatment provided the highest methane production at 212.7 mL/g-VTSadd. The long-term thermophilic dry anaerobic digestion process was conducted in a 5-L separable flask for more than 3 years at a volatile total solid (VTS) loading rate of 1 g/kg-sludge/d, using synthetic waste, untreated and 90 °C thermal pretreated DGW as the feedstock, respectively. A higher methane production, 451.6 mL/g-VTSadd, was obtained when synthetic waste was used; the methane production decreased to 139.4 mL/g-VTSadd when the untreated DGW was used. The 90 °C thermal pretreated DGW increased the methane production to 190.5 mL/g-VTSadd, showing an increase of 36.7% in methane production compared with that using untreated DGW. The microbial community structure analysis indicates that the microbial community in the thermophilic dry anaerobic digestion system maintained a similar structure when untreated or pretreated DGW was used, whereas the structure differed significantly when synthetic waste was used as the feedstock.
Keywords: Distilled grain waste; Thermophilic dry anaerobic digestion; Biogas; Biochemical methane potentialS; Thermal pretreatment; Microbial community

Metabolic Engineering of Escherichia coli K12 for Homofermentative Production of l-Lactate from Xylose by Ting Jiang; Chen Zhang; Qin He; Zhaojuan Zheng; Jia Ouyang (703-715).
The efficient utilization of xylose is regarded as a technical barrier to the commercial production of bulk chemicals from biomass. Due to the desirable mechanical properties of polylactic acid (PLA) depending on the isomeric composition of lactate, biotechnological production of lactate with high optical pure has been increasingly focused in recent years. The main objective of this work was to construct an engineered Escherichia coli for the optically pure l-lactate production from xylose. Six chromosomal deletions (pflB, ldhA, ackA, pta, frdA, adhE) and a chromosomal integration of l-lactate dehydrogenase-encoding gene (ldhL) from Bacillus coagulans was involved in construction of E. coli KSJ316. The recombinant strain could produce l-lactate from xylose resulting in a yield of 0.91 g/g xylose. The chemical purity of l-lactate was 95.52%, and the optical purity was greater than 99%. Moreover, three strategies, including overexpression of l-lactate dehydrogenase, intensification of xylose catabolism, and addition of additives to medium, were designed to enhance the production. The results showed that they could increase the concentration of l-lactate by 32.90, 20.13, and 233.88% relative to the control, respectively. This was the first report that adding formate not only could increase the xylose utilization but also led to the fewer by-product levels.
Keywords: Escherichia coli ; Bacillus coagulans ; l-Lactate; Xylose; Formate

A heterotrophic marine bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens isolated from seaweed Padina gymnospora exhibited broad spectra of antibacterial activities against pathogenic bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila, Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio vulnificus, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The seaweed-associated B. amyloliquefaciens was recognized to possess functional type I polyketide synthase-1 (pks-1) gene, and was used to isolate four homologous compounds with polyketide frameworks. The compounds were characterized as 11-(15-butyl-13-ethyl-tetrahydro-12-oxo-2H-pyran-13-yl) propyl-2-methylbenzoate (1), 9-(tetrahydro-12-isopropyl-11-oxofuran-10-yl)-ethyl-4-ethoxy-2-hydroxybenzoate (2), 12-(aminomethyl)-11-hydroxyhexanyl-10-phenylpropanoate (3), and 7-(14-hydroxypropan-13-yl)-8-isobutyl-7,8-dihydrobenzo[c]oxepin-1(3H)-one (4) by comprehensive nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopic experiments. The compounds 14 displayed significant antibacterial activities against clinically important pathogens V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus (inhibitory zone diameter of ≥15 mm, 100 mcg on disk). The electronic and hydrophobic parameters appeared to hold a conspicuous part in directing the antibacterial properties of the compounds. This study revealed seaweed-associated B. amyloliquefaciens as potential source of antimicrobial polyketides for pharmaceutical applications.
Keywords: Seaweed associated bacterium; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ; Padina gymnospora ; Antibacterial metabolites; Polyketides; Polyketide synthase-1

Material Utilization of Organic Residues by Jan Christoph Peinemann; Daniel Pleissner (733-745).
Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food waste is generated globally. This waste traces back to industrial and agricultural producers, bakeries, restaurants, and households. Furthermore, lignocellulosic materials, including grass clippings, leaves, bushes, shrubs, and woods, appear in large amounts. Depending on the region, organic waste is either composted, burned directly, or converted into biogas. All of the options set aside the fact that organic residues are valuable resources containing carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and phosphorus. Firstly, it is clear that avoidance of organic residues is imperative. However, the residues that accumulate nonetheless should be utilized by material means before energy production is targeted. This review presents different processes for the microbial utilization of organic residues towards compounds that are of great importance for the bioeconomy. The focus thereby is on the challenges coming along with downstream processing when the utilization of organic residues is carried out decentralized. Furthermore, a future process for producing lactic acid from organic residues is sketched.
Keywords: Decentralized utilization; Downstream processing; Hydrolysis; Lactic acid fermentation

Double-Stranded RNA-Mediated Suppression of Trypsin-Like Serine Protease (t-SP) Triggers Over-Expression of Another t-SP Isoform in Helicoverpa armigera by G. Sharath Chandra; R. Asokan; M. Manamohan; R. Ellango; H. C. Sharma; S. M. D. Akbar; N. K. Krishna Kumar (746-761).
High diversity of digestive proteases is considered to be the key factor in the evolution of polyphagy in Helicoverpa armigera. Serine proteases (SPs) contribute ~85% of the dietary protein digestion in H. armigera. We investigated the dynamics of SP regulation in the polyphagous pest, H. armigera using RNA interference (RNAi). HaTry1, an isoform of SP, expressed irrespective of the composition of the diet, and its expression levels were directly proportional to the larval growth rate. Therefore, HaTry1 was silenced by delivering 10 and 20 μg concentrations of double-stranded RNA through semi-synthetic diet. This led to a drastic reduction in the target gene transcript levels that manifested in a significant reduction in the larval weight initially, but the larvae recovered in later stages despite continuous dsRNA treatment. This was probably due to the compensatory effect by over-expression of HaTry13 (31-folds), another isoform of SP. Phylogenetic analysis of H. armigera SPs revealed that the over-expressed isoform was closely related to the target gene as compared to the other tested isoforms. Further, silencing of both the isoforms (HaTry1 and HaTry13) caused the highest reduction in the larval weight and there was no larval growth recovery. These findings provide a new evidence of the existence of compensatory effect to overcome the effect of silencing individual gene with RNAi. Hence, the study emphasizes the need for simultaneous silencing of multiple isoforms.
Keywords: RNA interference; Helicoverpa armigera ; Serine protease; Double-stranded RNA; Insect bioassay; RT-qPCR