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Morrison, D., van Dyk, J. S., and Pletschke, B. I. (2011). "The effect of alcohols, lignin and phenolic compounds on the enzyme activity of Clostridium cellulovorans XynA," BioRes. 6(3), 3132-3141.


In the production of biofuel from lignocellulose biomass, particularly in the case of consolidated bioprocessing where the saccharification and fermentation steps take place within the same bioreactor, many compounds may be present that could affect the enzymes within such a bioreactor. This study examined the effect of ethanol, butanol, propanol, lignin, r-coumaric acid, and gallic acid on the activity of XynA from C. cellulovorans. XynA from C. cellulovorans was purified, and the effects of various compounds on enzyme activity were assayed using the dinitrosalicylic acid method. In this study, it was found that XynA was very tolerant to ethanol and only lost 25% of activity even at high concentrations of ethanol. In the presence of lignin, XynA was inhibited at very low levels and retained ~85% of its activity. The highest degree of inhibition of XynA was experienced in the presence of r-coumaric acid (38%) and gallic acid (47%). The results indicate that the most problematic compounds within the bioreactor are likely to be soluble lignin degradation products resulting from pretreatment steps. Therefore, the removal of these compounds prior to saccharification should result in increased productivity within a bioreactor. This study indicates that XynA may be a suitable hemicellulase for use in bioethanol production, as it has very high tolerance for ethanol inhibition.
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