Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research team deciphers enzymatic degradation of sugar from marine alga

09.07.2019

Enzymes are biocatalysts that are crucial for the degradation of seaweed biomass in oceans. For the first time, an international team of 19 scientists recently decoded the complete degradation pathway of the algal polysaccharide Ulvan by biocatalysts from a marine bacterium. The results of their study are presented in Nature Chemical Biology (DOI: 10.1038 / s41589-019-0311-9). The study was conducted under the auspices of the University of Greifswald, the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen, the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) and the Biological Station in Roscoff (France).

Marine algae in the world’s oceans store huge quantities of CO2, i.e. they bind approximately as much CO2 per year as the entire land vegetation. In this process, algae produce large amounts of carbohydrates, which can be broken down by marine bacteria and provide an important energy source for the marine food web.


Algae of the genus Ulva – Photo: Thomas Wilfried

The research team has now elucidated the complex degradation pathway of the polysaccharide Ulvan. Ulvan is a complex sugar produced by algae of the genus Ulva and is degraded by the marine bacterium Formosa agariphila. The extensive study revealed the biochemical function of 12 enzymes.

These findings are of considerable importance not only for basic research. For the first time, they enable the biotechnological exploitation of algal biomass that has never been used previously as a raw material for fermentations and for the isolation of valuable sugars.

"In our study we can show, for the first time, how marine bacteria completely decompose the highly complex polymer Ulvan from marine algae into its building blocks. These insights not only enhance our understanding of how microorganisms gain access to their food source. Using the newly decoded biocatalysts, the complex marine polysaccharide Ulvan can now also be used as a raw material for fermentations; and high-quality sugar components such as iduronic acid or rhamnose sulfate can be produced from the previously inaccessible resource provided by marine algae", explains Prof. Dr. Uwe Bornscheuer (Institute of Biochemistry, University of Greifswald) https://biochemie.uni-greifswald.de/forschung/forschung-in-den-arbeitskreisen/or....

Dr. Jan-Hendrik Hehemann, Emmy Noether Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology https://www.mpi-bremen.de/en/Home.html and the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences https://www.marum.de/en/index.html at the University of Bremen, adds: "Polysaccharides from marine algae are chemically different from those of terrestrial plants. It is largely unknown how marine bacteria degrade algal polysaccharides. Elucidating the enzymes involved in Ulvan degradation is not only of great value for future biotechnological applications, but also answers central ecological questions regarding the marine carbon cycle."

"Our results also show how important it is to conduct research in a diverse team of microbiologists, biotechnologists, biochemists and organic chemists. The DFG-funded research group POMPU provides a cross-disciplinary combination of these competencies, which has significantly contributed to the success of this project", adds Prof. Dr. Thomas Schweder (Institute of Pharmacy, University of Greifswald) https://pharmazie.uni-greifswald.de/en/institut/abteilungen/pharmaceutical-biote....

The research group POMPU aims to elucidate important ecological functions of marine bacteria during algal blooms to improve the understanding of the oceans’ biological pump function in view of global warming. Exploring key marine bacteria and enzymes can open up new perspectives for exploiting the promising potential of sugars from marine algae.

Additional Information
Study
Reisky et al. (2019): A marine bacterial enzymatic cascade degrades the algal polysaccharide ulvan, in: Nature Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1038/s41589-019-0311-9 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-019-0311-9
FOR 2406 POMPU: DFG Research Unit 2406 “Proteogenomics of Marine Polysaccharide Utilization” http://www.pompu-project.de/

Contributing research groups
Prof. Dr. Uwe Bornscheuer https://biochemie.uni-greifswald.de/forschung/forschung-in-den-arbeitskreisen/or...
Dr. Jan-Hendrik Hehemann https://www.mpi-bremen.de/en/MARUM-MPG-Bridge-Group-Marine-Glycobiology.html
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schweder https://pharmazie.uni-greifswald.de/en/institut/abteilungen/pharmaceutical-biote...

Algae of the genus Ulva – Photo: Thomas Wilfried
The photo can be downloaded and used for free for editorial purposes in combination with this press release. You must name the respective author of the photo. Download http://www.uni-greifswald.de/pressefotos

Related information
Sugar Molecules Influence the Degradation of Algal Blooms – DFG to Fund Marine Proteomic Research (06.10.2016) https://www.uni-greifswald.de/en/university/information/current-news/details/n/s....

Contact University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Uwe Bornscheuer
Biotechnology and Enzyme Catalysis, Institute of Biochemistry
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 4, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4367
uwe.bornscheuer@uni-greifswald.de

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schweder
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Institute of Pharmacy
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 3, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4212
schweder@uni-greifswald.de

Contact Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
Dr. Jan-Hendrik Hehemann
MARUM MPG Research Group Marine Glycobiology
Celsiusstraße 1, 28359 Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218 65775
jhhehemann@marum.de

Contact Technical University of Vienna (Austria)
Dr. Christian Stanetty
Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry
Tel.: +43 1 58801 163619
christian.stanetty@tuwien.ac.at

Jan Meßerschmidt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of genes involved in the biosynthesis of antidepressant
09.12.2019 | Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research

nachricht Scientists have spotted new compounds with herbicidal potential from sea fungus
09.12.2019 | Far Eastern Federal University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Arctic atmosphere - a gathering place for dust?

09.12.2019 | Earth Sciences

New ultra-miniaturized scope less invasive, produces higher quality images

09.12.2019 | Information Technology

Discovery of genes involved in the biosynthesis of antidepressant

09.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>