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.
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.
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
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
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schweder
Institute of Pharmacy
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 3, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4212
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
Contact Technical University of Vienna (Austria)
Dr. Christian Stanetty
Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry
Tel.: +43 1 58801 163619
Jan Meßerschmidt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Münster University chemists create new types of Lewis acids on the basis of phosphorus
22.10.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Obesity risk quantification:a jump towards the future through the artificial intelligence lens applied to lipid science
22.10.2019 | Technische Universität Dresden
Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.
Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)
It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
22.10.2019 | Materials Sciences
22.10.2019 | Medical Engineering
22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering