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 Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species
03.07.2020 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Moss protein corrects genetic defects of other plants
03.07.2020 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>