: In vitro hydrogen generation represents a clear opportunity for novel bioreactor and system design. Hydrogen, already a globally important commodity chemical, has the potential to become the dominant transportation fuel of the future. Technologies such as in vitro synthetic pathway biotransformation (SyPaB)-the use of more than 10 purified enzymes to catalyze unnatural catabolic pathways-enable the storage of hydrogen in the form of carbohydrates. Biohydrogen production from local carbohydrate resources offers a solution to the most pressing challenges to vehicular and bioenergy uses: small-size distributed production, minimization of CO2 emissions, and potential low cost, driven by high yield and volumetric productivity. In this study, we introduce a novel bioreactor that provides the oxygen-free gas phase necessary for enzymatic hydrogen generation while regulating temperature and reactor volume. A variety of techniques are currently used for laboratory detection of biohydrogen, but the most information is provided by a continuous low-cost hydrogen sensor. Most such systems currently use electrolysis for calibration; here an alternative method, flow calibration, is introduced. This system is further demonstrated here with the conversion of glucose to hydrogen at a high rate, and the production of hydrogen from glucose 6-phosphate at a greatly increased reaction rate, 157 mmol/L/h at 60 °C.
Hydrogen is one of the most important industrial chemicals and will be arguably the best fuel in the future. Hydrogen production from less costly renewable sugars can provide affordable hydrogen, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and achieve nearly zero net greenhouse gas emissions, but current chemical and biological means suffer from low hydrogen yields and/or severe reaction conditions. An in vitro synthetic enzymatic pathway comprised of 15 enzymes was designed to split water powered by sucrose to hydrogen. Hydrogen and carbon dioxide were spontaneously generated from sucrose or glucose and water mediated by enzyme cocktails containing up to 15 enzymes under mild reaction conditions (i.e. 37°C and atm). In a batch reaction, the hydrogen yield was 23.2mol of dihydrogen per mole of sucrose, i.e., 96.7% of the theoretical yield (i.e., 12 dihydrogen per hexose). In a fed-batch reaction, increasing substrate concentration led to 3.3-fold enhancement in reaction rate to 9.74mmol of H2/L/h. These proof-of-concept results suggest that catabolic water splitting powered by sugars catalyzed by enzyme cocktails could be an appealing green hydrogen production approach.
Let enzymes work: H2 was produced from xylose and water in one reactor containing 13 enzymes (red). By using a novel polyphosphate xylulokinase (XK), xylose was converted into H2 and CO2 with approaching 100?% of the theoretical yield. The findings suggest that cell-free biosystems could produce H2 from biomass xylose at low cost. Xu5P = xylulose 5-phosphate, G6P = glucose 6-phosphate.
Cost-effective release of fermentable sugars from non-food biomass through biomass pretreatment/enzymatic hydrolysis is still the largest obstacle to second-generation biorefineries. Therefore, the hydrolysis performance of 21 bacterial cellulase mixtures containing the glycoside hydrolase family 5 Bacillus subtilis endoglucanase (BsCel5), family 9 Clostridium phytofermentans processive endoglucanase (CpCel9), and family 48 C. phytofermentans cellobiohydrolase (CpCel48) was studied on partially ordered low-accessibility microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel) and disordered high-accessibility regenerated amorphous cellulose (RAC). Faster hydrolysis rates and higher digestibilities were obtained on RAC than on Avicel. The optimal ratios for maximum cellulose digestibility were dynamic for Avicel but nearly fixed for RAC. Processive endoglucanase CpCel9 was the most important for high cellulose digestibility regardless of substrate type. This study provides important information for the construction of a minimal set of bacterial cellulases for the consolidated bioprocessing bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis, for converting lignocellulose to biocommodities in a single step.
Allele-specific PCR (AS-PCR) has been widely used for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphism. But there are some challenges in using AS-PCR for specifically detecting DNA variations with short deletions or insertions. The challenges are associated with designing selective allele-specific primers as well as the specificity of AS-PCR in distinguishing some types of single base-pair mismatches. In order to address such problems and enhance the applicability of AS-PCR, a general primer design method was developed to create a multiple base-pair mismatch between the primer 3-terminus and the template DNA. This approach can destabilize the primer-template complex more efficiently than does a single base-pair mismatch, and can dramatically increase the specificity of AS-PCR. As a proof-of-principle demonstration, the method of primer design was applied in colony PCR for identifying plasmid DNA deletion or insertion mutants after site-directed mutagenesis. As anticipated, multiple base-pair mismatches achieved much more specific PCR amplification than single base-pair mismatches. Therefore, with the proposed primer design method, the detection of short nucleotide deletion and insertion mutations becomes simple, accurate and more reliable.
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