Our overall aim will be accomplished by implementing 3 workpackages.
WP1 will develop novel enzymes with elevated activity against rice straw. The WP will deploy two strategies.
The first strategy will mine rice straw composting microbial communities and insect rice stem borer
symbionts for novel enzymes that display elevated activity against rice straw. The mining of the straw
composts will use proteomics to identify protein targets, informed by transcriptomic data. The rice straw
enzymes from the insect will be identified from genomic and transcriptomic data of microbes that degrade
The second approach will evaluate the capacity of natural and engineered arabinoxylan degrading enzymes
against rice straw.
WP2 will develop engineered bacterial strains that produce advanced biofuels (alkanes) from rice straw.
In the WP2, In Silico Design will be used to model metabolic engineering strategies to produce alkanes and
other biofuels from Clostridium and Geobacillus. Based on the models, metabolic pathways will be
constructed using BioBrick technologies that will be optimized through iterative hypothesis and testing
through transcriptome, proteome and metabolome profiling.
WP2 will also develop partial consolidated bioprocessing systems based on the Geobacillus strains.
In WP3 the enzymes and microbial strains developed in WP1 and WP2, respectively, will be used to develop
production systems that ferment pretreated rice straw into sugars, which are then fermented into advanced
biofuels by Geobacillus and Clostridium.