The biology and biotechnology of the genus Caldicellulosiruptor: recent developments in 'Caldi World'.


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, EB-1, 911 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7905, USA. [Email]


Terrestrial hot springs near neutral pH harbor extremely thermophilic bacteria from the genus Caldicellulosiruptor, which utilize the carbohydrates of lignocellulose for growth. These bacteria are technologically important because they produce novel, multi-domain glycoside hydrolases that are prolific at deconstructing microcrystalline cellulose and hemicelluloses found in plant biomass. Among other interesting features, Caldicellulosiruptor species have successfully adapted to bind specifically to lignocellulosic substrates via surface layer homology (SLH) domains associated with glycoside hydrolases and unique binding proteins (tāpirins) present only in these bacteria. They also utilize a parallel pathway for conversion of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate into 3-phosphoglycerate via a ferredoxin-dependent oxidoreductase that is conserved across the genus. Advances in the genetic tools for Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, including the development of a high-temperature kanamycin-resistance marker and xylose-inducible promoter, have opened the door for metabolic engineering applications and some progress along these lines has been reported. While several species of Caldicellulosiruptor can readily deconstruct lignocellulose, improvements in the amount of carbohydrate released and in the production of bio-based chemicals are required to successfully realize the biotechnological potential of these organisms.


Caldicellulosiruptor,Extreme thermophiles,Lignocellulose,

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