Cellulolytic Microorganisms from Thermal Environments
T.A. Vishnivetskaya, B. Raman, T.J. Phelps, M. Podar and J.G. Elkins
from: Extremophiles: Microbiology and Biotechnology (Edited by: Roberto Paul Anitori). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)
Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid fuels using biological processes offers a potential solution to partially offset the world's dependence on fossil fuels for energy. In nature, decomposition of organic plant biomass is brought about by the combined action of several interacting microorganisms existing in complex communities. Bioprospecting in natural environments with high cellulolytic activity (for example, thermal springs) may yield novel cellulolytic microorganisms and enzymes with elevated rates of biomass hydrolysis for use in industrial biofuel production. In this chapter, various cellulose-degrading microorganisms (in particular, thermophilic anaerobic bacteria), their hydrolytic enzymes, and recent developments in the application of biomass fermentations for production of sustainable bioenergy are reviewed. In this context, results from ongoing research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the isolation and subsequent phylogenetic and metabolic characterization of thermophilic, anaerobic, cellulolytic bacteria from the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park are presented read more ...