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Biological Sciences Division
Research Highlights

November 2013

Crafting a Better Enzyme Cocktail to Turn Plants into Fuel Faster

Tapping fungus to unlock energy leads to hot article, cover story

graphic of journal cover
Activity-based proteomics enables high-throughput analysis of lignocellulolytic enzyme activity dynamics. Enlarge Image.

Results: Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. The new research, published online in October in Molecular BioSystems, is part of a worldwide effort to create fuels from plants that are plentiful and aren't part of the food supply. It's possible to do this today, but the process is costly, laborious and lengthy.

The findings open the possibility that laboratory research that now takes months could be reduced to days, and that scientists will be able to assess more options for biofuel development than is possible today.

The paper was selected by Molecular BioSystems as a "hot" article and has been made free to access during October, and an image from the research will be featured on the cover of the December issue. It was also been highlighted on journal's blog and promoted through its Twitter account.

See the PNNL news release for more information.


Sponsors: This work was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program at PNNL using instrumentation and capabilities developed with funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research (DOE-BER). Mass spectrometry-based proteomic measurements were performed in EMSL, a DOE-BER national scientific user facility at PNNL.

User Facility: EMSL

Research Team: Lindsey N. Anderson, Aaron T. Wright, David E. Culley, Beth A. Hofstad, Lacie M. Chauvigné-Hines, Erika M. Zink, Samuel O. Purvine, Richard D. Smith, Stephen J. Callister, and Jon M. Magnuson, all PNNL.

Research Area: Biological Systems Science

Reference: Anderson LN, DE Culley, BA Hofstad, LM Chauvigné-Hines, EM Zink, SO Purvine, RD Smith, SJ Callister, JM Magnuson, and AT Wright. 2013. "Activity-based Protein Profiling of Secreted Cellulolytic Enzyme Activity Dynamics in Trichoderma reesei QM6a, NG14, and RUT-C30." Molecular BioSystems 9:2992-3000. DOI: 10.1039/C3MB70333A.

Related Highlights:

Protein Probes for Biomass

Chemical Probe Finds Fungal Organism Function

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