FURI | Spring 2022

Engineering of a Microbial Host for the Secretion of Biomass-Degrading Enzymes

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Lignin, a naturally occurring biopolymer composed of aromatic carbons, can serve as a feedstock for the sustainable production of several valuable chemicals otherwise obtained from crude oil. However, because it is difficult to break down lignin into its components, it is currently burned for fuel and thus underutilized. To unlock the potential of lignin as a renewable source of aromatics, this project engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum to secrete enzymes that depolymerize lignin. Plasmids with genes encoding these enzymes were constructed and transformed into C. glutamicum through electroporation, and assays were conducted to verify the secretion of enzymes.

Student researcher

Amogh Deshpande

Amogh J. Deshpande

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2023