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Enzymes from Extreme Environments

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198306 Year: Pages: 103 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-830-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Biotechnology --- General and Civil Engineering
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Abstract

Enzymes are nature’s biocatalysts empowered with high catalytic power and remarkable substrate specificity. Enzymes perform a wide range of functions throughout nature, and guide the biochemistry of life with great precision. The majority of enzymes perform under conditions considered normal for mesophilic, neutrophilic, terrestrial microorganisms. However, the Earth’s biosphere contains several regions that are extreme in comparison, such as hypersaline lakes and pools, hydrothermal vents, cold oceans, dry deserts and areas exposed to intensive radiation. These areas are inhabited by a large number of extremophilic microorganisms which produce enzymes capable of functioning in unusual conditions. There is an increasing biotechnological and industrial demand for enzymes stable and functioning in harsh conditions, and over the past decade screening for, isolation and production of enzymes with unique and extreme properties has become one of the foremost areas of biotechnology research. The development of advanced molecular biology tools has facilitated the quest for production of enzymes with optimized and extreme features. These tools include large-scale screening for potential genes using metagenomics, engineering of enzymes using computational techniques and site-directed mutagenesis and molecular evolution techniques. The goal of this Research Topic is to present reports on latest advances in enzymes from all types of extreme environments. Contributions dealing with isolation of enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms or directly from natural environments, screening for and expression of enzymes with extreme properties using metagenomic approaches are welcome. In addition, contributions dealing with all forms of biocatalyst production and improvement are welcome, such as fermentation technology, protein engineering, directed evolution, rational design, and immobilization techniques.

Synthetic biology applications in industrial microbiology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193424 Year: Pages: 129 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-342-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Environmental Sciences --- Biotechnology --- General and Civil Engineering --- Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Exponentially increasing information on biological organisms coupled with increasing computational power in the past decade have broadened the perspective of fundamental biological research, bringing about considerable promise and unprecedented potential for practical applications in biotechnology. As one emergent discipline, synthetic biology aims to design and engineer novel biologically-based parts, devices, and systems, in addition to redesigning existing, natural biological systems. Although previously relegated to demonstration studies, more recent research in synthetic biology has focused on the rational engineering of industrial microorganisms with the potential to address many of society’s critical challenges. Within the realm of industrial microbiology, progress in the field of synthetic biology has enabled the development of, for example, new biosynthetic pathways for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, programmable logic controls to regulate and optimize cell function, and robust microbes for the destruction of harmful environmental contaminants. Some of the exciting examples included producing anti-malarial drug, anti- cancer taxol precursor and various biofuel molecules in E. coli and yeast. In addition, these researches have also greatly enhanced our understanding of the cellular machinery and its regulation in some of the industry important microbes, laying an important foundation for further design and engineering of biological function for even greater application. For these reasons, we present here a collection of articles from the leading edge of the field of synthetic biology, with a specific focus on the development in industrial microorganisms. It is the intent of this collection to reach a wide audience whose interests and expertise spans from development of novel synthetic biology methodologies and theories (both experimental and computational) to practical applications seeking to address issues facing the world today.

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