Foaming problem which occurred occasionally during food waste (FW) anaerobic digestion (AD) was investigated with the Malaysian FW by stepwise increase in organic loading (OL) from 0.5 to 7.5 g VS/L. The FW feedstock with carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio of 17 was upgraded to C/N ratio of 26 and 30 by mixing with other wastes. The digestion which was carried out at 37 °C in 1-L batch reactors showed that foam formation initiated at OL of 1.5 g VS/L and was further enhanced as OL of feedstock was increased. The digestion foaming reached its maximum at OL of 5.5 g VS/L and did not increase further even when OL was increased to 7.5 g VS/Ld. Increase in the C/N ratio of feedstock significantly enhanced the microbial degradation activity, leading to better removal of foam causing intermediates and reduced foaming in the reactor by up to 60%.
Pyroligneous acid (PA) is a complex highly oxygenated aqueous liquid fraction obtained by the condensation of pyrolysis vapors, which result from the thermochemical breakdown or pyrolysis of plant biomass components such as cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. PA produced by the slow pyrolysis of plant biomass is a yellowish brown or dark brown liquid with acidic pH and usually comprises a complex mixture of guaiacols, catechols, syringols, phenols, vanillins, furans, pyrans, carboxaldehydes, hydroxyketones, sugars, alkyl aryl ethers, nitrogenated derivatives, alcohols, acetic acid, and other carboxylic acids. The phenolic components, namely guaiacol, alkyl guaiacols, syringol, and alkyl syringols, contribute to the smoky odor of PA. PA finds application in diverse areas, as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, plant growth stimulator, coagulant for natural rubber, and termiticidal and pesticidal agent; is a source for valuable chemicals; and imparts a smoky flavor for food.
This review highlights the use of bromelain in various applications with up-to-date literature on the purification of bromelain from pineapple fruit and waste such as peel, core, crown, and leaves. Bromelain, a cysteine protease, has been exploited commercially in many applications in the food, beverage, tenderization, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and textile industries. Researchers worldwide have been directing their interest to purification strategies by applying conventional and modern approaches, such as manipulating the pH, affinity, hydrophobicity, and temperature conditions in accord with the unique properties of bromelain. The amount of downstream processing will depend on its intended application in industries. The breakthrough of recombinant DNA technology has facilitated the large-scale production and purification of recombinant bromelain for novel applications in the future.
Production of succinic acid via separate enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) are alternatives and are environmentally friendly processes. These processes have attained considerable positions in the industry with their own share of challenges and problems. The high-value succinic acid is extensively used in chemical, food, pharmaceutical, leather and textile industries and can be efficiently produced via several methods. Previously, succinic acid production via chemical synthesis from petrochemical or refined sugar has been the focus of interest of most reviewers. However, these expensive substrates have been recently replaced by alternative sustainable raw materials such as lignocellulosic biomass, which is cheap and abundantly available. Thus, this review focuses on succinic acid production utilizing lignocellulosic material as a potential substrate for SSF and SHF. SSF is an economical single-step process which can be a substitute for SHF - a two-step process where biomass is hydrolyzed in the first step and fermented in the second step. SSF of lignocellulosic biomass under optimum temperature and pH conditions results in the controlled release of sugar and simultaneous conversion into succinic acid by specific microorganisms, reducing reaction time and costs and increasing productivity. In addition, main process parameters which influence SHF and SSF processes such as batch and fed-batch fermentation conditions using different microbial strains are discussed in detail.
The Bacillaceae family members are a good source of bacteria for bioprocessing and biotransformation involving whole cells or enzymes. In contrast to Bacillus and Geobacillus, Anoxybacillus is a relatively new genus that was proposed in the year 2000. Because these bacteria are alkali-tolerant thermophiles, they are suitable for many industrial applications. More than a decade after the first report of Anoxybacillus, knowledge accumulated from fundamental and applied studies suggests that this genus can serve as a good alternative in many applications related to starch and lignocellulosic biomasses, environmental waste treatment, enzyme technology, and possibly bioenergy production. This current review provides the first summary of past and recent discoveries regarding the isolation of Anoxybacillus, its medium requirements, its proteins that have been characterized and cloned, bioremediation applications, metabolic studies, and genomic analysis. Comparisons to some other members of Bacillaceae and possible future applications of Anoxybacillus are also discussed.
Escherichia coli-the powerhouse for recombinant protein production-is rapidly gaining status as a reliable and efficient host for secretory expression. An improved understanding of protein translocation processes and its mechanisms has inspired and accelerated the development of new tools and applications in this field and, in particular, a more efficient secretion signal. Several important characteristics and requirements are summarised for the design of a more efficient signal peptide for the production of recombinant proteins in E. coli. General approaches and strategies to optimise the signal peptide, including the selection and modification of the signal peptide components, are included. Several challenges in the secretory production of recombinant proteins are discussed, and research approaches designed to meet these challenges are proposed.
Abundant lignocellulosic biomass from various industries provides a great potential feedstock for the production of value-added products such as biofuel, animal feed, and paper pulping. However, low yield of sugar obtained from lignocellulosic hydrolysate is usually due to the presence of lignin that acts as a protective barrier for cellulose and thus restricts the accessibility of the enzyme to work on the cellulosic component. This review focuses on the significance of biological pretreatment specifically using ligninolytic enzymes as an alternative method apart from the conventional physical and chemical pretreatment. Different modes of biological pretreatment are discussed in this paper which is based on (i) fungal pretreatment where fungi mycelia colonise and directly attack the substrate by releasing ligninolytic enzymes and (ii) enzymatic pretreatment using ligninolytic enzymes to counter the drawbacks of fungal pretreatment. This review also discusses the important factors of biological pretreatment using ligninolytic enzymes such as nature of the lignocellulosic biomass, pH, temperature, presence of mediator, oxygen, and surfactant during the biodelignification process.
Type I pullulanases are enzymes that specifically hydrolyse α-1,6 linkages in polysaccharides. This study reports the analyses of a novel type I pullulanase (PulASK) from Anoxybacillus sp. SK3-4. Purified PulASK (molecular mass of 80 kDa) was stable at pH 5.0-6.0 and was most active at pH 6.0. The optimum temperature for PulASK was 60 °C, and the enzyme was reasonably stable at this temperature. Pullulan was the preferred substrate for PulASK, with 89.90 % adsorbance efficiency (various other starches, 56.26-72.93 % efficiency). Similar to other type I pullulanases, maltotriose was formed on digestion of pullulan by PulASK. PulASK also reacted with β-limit dextrin, a sugar rich in short branches, and formed maltotriose, maltotetraose and maltopentaose. Nevertheless, PulASK was found to preferably debranch long branches at α-1,6 glycosidic bonds of starch, producing amylose, linear or branched oligosaccharides, but was nonreactive against short branches; thus, no reducing sugars were detected. This is surprising as all currently known type I pullulanases produce reducing sugars (predominantly maltotriose) on digesting starch. The closest homologue of PulASK (95 % identity) is a type I pullulanase from Anoxybacillus sp. LM14-2 (Pul-LM14-2), which is capable of forming reducing sugars from starch. With rational design, amino acids 362-370 of PulASK were replaced with the corresponding sequence of Pul-LM14-2. The mutant enzyme formed reducing sugars on digesting starch. Thus, we identified a novel motif involved in substrate specificity in type I pullulanases. Our characterization may pave the way for the industrial application of this unique enzyme.
Inactivation of quorum sensing (QS) signal molecules, such as acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) of pathogenic bacteria, has been proposed as a novel method to combat bacterial diseases in aquaculture. Despite the importance of micro-algae for aquaculture, AHL degradation by bacteria associated with micro-algal cultures has thus far not been investigated. In this study, we isolated Pseudomonas sp. NFMI-T and Bacillus sp. NFMI-C from open cultures of the micro-algae Tetraselmis suecica and Chaetoceros muelleri, respectively. An AHL degradation assay showed that either monocultures or co-cultures of the isolates were able to degrade the AHL N-hexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone. In contrast, only Bacillus sp. NFMI-C was able to inactivate N-hydroxybutanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, the AHL produced by Vibrio campbellii. The isolated bacteria were able to persist for up to 3 weeks in conventionalized micro-algal cultures, indicating that they were able to establish and maintain themselves within open algal cultures. Using gnotobiotic algal cultures, we found that the isolates did not affect growth of the micro-algae from which they were isolated, whereas a mixture of both isolates increased the growth of Tetraselmis and decreased the growth of Chaetoceros. Finally, addition of Bacillus sp. NFMI-C to the rearing water of giant river prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) larvae significantly improved survival of the larvae when challenged with pathogenic V. campbellii, whereas it had no effect on larval growth.
Current diagnostic tools for peanut allergy using crude peanut extract showed low predictive value and reduced specificity for detection of peanut allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE). The Ara h 2.02, an isoform of the major peanut allergen Ara h 2, contains three IgE epitope recognition sequence of 'DPYSPS' and may be a better reagent for component resolve diagnosis. This research aimed to generate a codon-optimised Ara h 2.02 gene for heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and allergenicity study of this recombinant protein. The codon-optimised gene was generated by PCR using overlapping primers and cloned into the pET-28a (+) expression vector. Moderate expression of a 22.5 kDa 6xhistidine-tagged recombinant Ara h 2.02 protein (6xHis-rAra h 2.02) in BL21 (DE3) host cells was observed upon induction with 1 mM isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). The insoluble recombinant protein was purified under denaturing condition using nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) affinity chromatography and refolded by dialysis in decreasing urea concentration, amounting to a yield of 74 mg/l of expression culture. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) and immunoblot analysis confirmed the production of the recombinant 6xHis-rAra h 2.02. The refolded recombinant 6xHis-rAra h 2.02, with or without adjuvant, was able to elicit comparable level of allergen-specific IgE and IgG1 in sensitised Balb/c mice. In addition, the specific IgE antibodies raised against the recombinant protein were able to recognise the native Ara h 2 protein, demonstrating its allergenicity and potential as a reagent for diagnosis and therapeutic study.
Mushroom industries generate a virtually in-exhaustible supply of a co-product called spent mushroom substrate (SMS). This is the unutilised substrate and the mushroom mycelium left after harvesting of mushrooms. As the mushroom industry is steadily growing, the volume of SMS generated annually is increasing. In recent years, the mushroom industry has faced challenges in storing and disposing the SMS. The obvious solution is to explore new applications of SMS. There has been considerable discussion recently about the potentials of using SMS for production of value-added products. One of them is production of lignocellulosic enzymes such as laccase, xylanase, lignin peroxidase, cellulase and hemicellulase. This paper reviews scientific research and practical applications of SMS as a readily available and cheap source of enzymes for bioremediation, animal feed and energy feedstock.
Anaerobic digestion treatments have often been used for biological stabilization of solid wastes. These treatment processes generate biogas which can be used as a renewable energy sources. Recently, anaerobic digestion of solid wastes has attracted more interest because of current environmental problems, most especially those concerned with global warming. Thus, laboratory-scale research on this area has increased significantly. In this review paper, the summary of the most recent research activities covering production of biogas from solid wastes according to its origin via various anaerobic technologies was presented.
The potential for using agricultural and industrial by-products as substrate for the production of the edible mushroom, Auricularia polytricha, was evaluated using several formulations of selected palm oil wastes mixed with sawdust and further supplemented with selected nitrogen sources. The best substrate formulations were sawdust (SD) mixed with oil palm frond (OPF; 90:10) added with 15% spent grain (SG) and sawdust mixed with empty fruit bunch (EFB; 50:50) added with 10% spent grain (SG) with mycelia growth rate of 8 mm/day and 7 mm/day respectively. These two substrate formulations were then subjected to different moisture content levels (65%, 75% and 85%). Highest total fresh sporophore yield at 0.43% was obtained on SD+OPF (90:10)+15% SG at 85% moisture content, followed closely by SD+EFB (50:50)+10% SG with 0.40% total yield, also at 85% moisture content. Each of the substrate formulations at 85% moisture content gave the highest biological efficiency (BE) at 288.9% and 260.7%, respectively. Both yield and biological efficiency of A. polytricha on these two formulations were almost three times higher when compared to sawdust substrate alone, thus proving the potential of these formulations to improve yield of this mushroom.
Alcanivorax hongdengensis A-11-3 is a newly identified type strain isolated from the surface water of the Malacca and Singapore Straits that can degrade a wide range of alkanes. To understand the degradation mechanism of this strain, the genes encoding alkane hydroxylases were obtained by PCR screening and shotgun sequencing of a genomic fosmid library. Six genes involved in alkane degradation were found, including alkB1, alkB2, p450-1, p450-2, p450-3 and almA. Heterogeneous expression analysis confirmed their functions as alkane oxidases in Pseudomonas putida GPo12 (pGEc47ΔB) or Pseudomonas fluorescens KOB2Δ1. Q-PCR revealed that the transcription of alkB1 and alkB2 was enhanced in the presence of n-alkanes C(12) to C(24); three p450 genes were up-regulated by C(8)-C(16) n-alkanes at different levels, whereas enhanced expression of almA was observed when strain A-11-3 grew with long-chain alkanes (C(24) to C(36)). In the case of branched alkanes, pristane significantly enhanced the expression of alkB1, p450-3 and almA. The six genes enable strain A-11-3 to degrade short (C(8)) to long (C(36)) alkanes that are straight or branched. The ability of A. hongdengensis A-11-3 to thrive in oil-polluted marine environments may be due to this strain's multiple systems for alkane degradation and its range of substrates.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a potential substitute for some petrochemical-based plastics. This biodegradable plastic is derived from microbial fermentation using various carbon substrates. Since carbon source has been identified as one of the major cost-absorbing factors in PHA production, cheap and renewable substrates are currently being investigated as substitutes for existing sugar-based feedstock. Plant oils have been found to result in high-yield PHA production. Malaysia, being the world's second largest producer of palm oil, is able to ensure continuous supply of palm oil products for sustainable PHA production. The biosynthesis and characterization of various types of PHA using palm oil products have been described in detail in this review. Besides, by-products and waste stream from palm oil industry have also demonstrated promising results as carbon sources for PHA biosynthesis. Some new applications in cosmetic and wastewater treatment show the diversity of PHA usage. With proper management practices and efficient milling processes, it may be possible to supply enough palm oil-based raw materials for human consumption and other biotechnological applications such as production of PHA in a sustainable manner.
The AcmA binding domains of Lactococcus lactis were used to display the VP1 protein of chicken anemia virus (CAV) on Lactobacillus acidophilus. One and two repeats of the cell wall binding domain of acmA gene were amplified from L. lactis MG1363 genome and then inserted into co-expression vector, pBudCE4.1. The VP1 gene of CAV was then fused to the acmA sequences and the VP2 gene was cloned into the second MCS of the same vector before transformation into Escherichia coli. The expressed recombinant proteins were purified using a His-tag affinity column and mixed with a culture of L. acidophilus. Whole cell ELISA and immunofluorescence assay showed the binding of the recombinant VP1 protein on the surface of the bacterial cells. The lactobacilli cells carrying the CAV VP1 protein were used to immunize specific pathogen-free chickens through the oral route. A moderate level of neutralizing antibody to CAV was detected in the serum of the immunized chickens. A VP1-specific proliferative response was observed in splenocytes of the chickens after oral immunization. The vaccinated groups also showed increased levels of Th1 cytokines interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12, and IFN-γ. These observations suggest that L. acidophilus can be used in the delivery of vaccines to chickens.
Burkholderia sp. synthase has been shown to polymerize 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), 3-hydroxyvalerate, and 3-hydroxy-4-pentenoic acid monomers. This study was carried out to evaluate the ability of Burkholderia sp. USM (JCM 15050) and its transformant harboring the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene of Aeromonas caviae to incorporate the newly reported 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) monomer. Various culture parameters such as concentrations of nutrient rich medium, fructose and 4-methylvaleric acid as well as harvesting time were manipulated to produce P(3HB-co-3H4MV) with different 3H4MV compositions. The structural properties of PHA containing 3H4MV monomer were investigated by using nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The relative intensities of the bands at 1,183 and 1,228 cm⁻¹ in the FTIR spectra enabled the rapid detection and differentiation of P(3HB-co-3H4MV) from other types of PHA. In addition, the presence of 3H4MV units in the copolymer was found to considerably lower the melting temperature and enthalpy of fusion values compared with poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)). The copolymer exhibited higher thermo-degradation temperature but similar molecular weight and polydispersity compared with P(3HB).
The aim of this work was to develop a standard quantitative method to measure the acid tolerance of probiotic cells when exposed to a simulated gastric fluid. Three model strains of different cell concentrations were exposed to a standard simulated gastric fluid of fixed volume. The fluid pH ranged from pH 1.5 to 2.5. In general, the death kinetics followed an exponential trend. The overall death constant, k (d), for all strains was found to be in a power relationship with the pH value and the initial cell concentration, and it can be expressed as k(d)=k(AII) (pH(-9.0)N(0)(-0.19)) where k (AII) is defined as the acid intolerance indicator and N (0) is the initial cell concentration (CFU/ml). This equation was validated with the experimental data with an average R (2) of 0.98. The acid intolerance of cells can be quantitatively expressed by the k (AII) values, where higher value indicates higher intolerance. In conclusion, a standard quantitative method has been developed to measure the acid tolerance of probiotic cells. This could facilitate the selection of probiotic strains and processing technologies.
Photobacterium species are Gram-negative coccobacilli which are distributed in marine habitats worldwide. Some species are unique because of their capability to produce luminescence. Taxonomically, about 23 species and 2 subspecies are validated to date. Genomes from a few Photobacterium spp. have been sequenced and studied. They are considered a special group of bacteria because some species are capable of producing essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, antibacterial compounds, lipases, esterases and asparaginases. They are also used as biosensors in food and environmental monitoring and detectors of drown victim, as well as an important symbiont.
Thiocyanate (SCN-) forms as a by-product of cyanidation during gold ore processing and can be degraded by a variety of microorganisms utilizing it as an energy, nitrogen, sulphur and/or carbon source. In complex consortia inhabiting bioreactor systems, a range of metabolisms are sustained by SCN- degradation; however, despite the addition or presence of labile carbon sources in most bioreactor designs to date, autotrophic bacteria have been found to dominate key metabolic functions. In this study, we cultured an autotrophic SCN--degrading consortium directly from gold mine tailings. In a batch-mode bioreactor experiment, this consortium degraded 22 mM SCN-, accumulating ammonium (NH4+) and sulphate (SO42-) as the major end products. The consortium consisted of a diverse microbial community comprised of chemolithoautotrophic members, and despite the absence of an added organic carbon substrate, a significant population of heterotrophic bacteria. The role of eukaryotes in bioreactor systems is often poorly understood; however, we found their 18S rRNA genes to be most closely related to sequences from bacterivorous Amoebozoa. Through combined chemical and phylogenetic analyses, we were able to infer roles for key microbial consortium members during SCN- biodegradation. This study provides a basis for understanding the behaviour of a SCN- degrading bioreactor under autotrophic conditions, an anticipated approach to remediating SCN- at contemporary gold mines.