CSIC scientists are studying how to improve the utilization of plant biomass
A team from the Center for Biological Research in Madrid, CIB, belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC, conducted a study on the degradation of plant biomass by fungi.
Susana Camarero, CIB researcher explained at a conference held at the Institute of Microbiology Biochemistry IMB, University of Salamanca, to optimize the degradation process can use biotechnology tools, such as certain enzymes of fungi that affect wood .
Speaking to the DICYT, the expert explained that "with the study of these fungi, in particular, enzymes that produce, we can have biotechnological tools to degrade the lignin and make use of plant biomass more effective. " These enzymes are called 'laccase' and have great potential for many applications, "but can be improved and designed specifically for specific biotechnological processes using modern techniques of directed evolution.
The advantage of 'laccase' is that only require oxygen for the reaction and produce only water as waste from the process so that they are called "green biocatalysts. Besides the processing of plant biomass, are used for the manufacture of paper and money and, according to recent research, may have involvement in the production of bioethanol. Have also been used for biosensors, biocells combustion or the textile and food industries.