Assessing the enzymatic effects of cellulases and LPMO in improving mechanical fibrillation of cotton linters.
ABSTRACT: Background:The increasing interest in replacing petroleum-based products by more sustainable materials in the packaging sector gives relevance to cellulose as a biodegradable natural resource. Moreover, its properties can be modified physically, chemically or biotechnologically in order to obtain new bioproducts. Refined cotton linters with high cellulose content were treated with hydrolytic (cellulases) and oxidative (LPMO and Laccase_Tempo) enzymes to evaluate their effect on fibre properties and in improving mechanical fibrillation. Results:Cellulases released cellooligosaccharides, reducing fibre length and partially degrading cellulose. They also improved mechanical fibrillation yielding up to 18% of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC). LPMO introduced a slight amount of COOH groups in cellulose fibres, releasing cellobionic acid to the effluents. The action of cellulases was improved after LPMO treatment; however, the COOH groups created disappeared from fibres. After mechanical fibrillation of LPMO-cellulase-treated cotton linters a 23% yield of NFC was obtained. Laccase_Tempo treatment also introduced COOH groups in cellulose fibres from cotton, yielding 10% of NFC. Degree of polymerization was reduced by Laccase_Tempo, while LPMO treatment did not significantly affect it but produced a higher reduction in fibre length. The combined treatment with LPMO and cellulase provided films with higher transparency (86%), crystallinity (92%), smoothness and improved barrier properties to air and water than films casted from non-treated linters and from commercial NFC. Conclusions:The combined enzymatic treatment with LPMO and cellulases boosted mechanical fibrillation of cotton linters, improving the NFC production and providing bioproducts with high transparency and high barrier properties.
Project description:Background:Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper-dependent enzymes that cleave polysaccharides through an oxidative mechanism. These enzymes are major contributors to the recycling of carbon in nature and are currently used in the biorefinery industry. LPMOs are commonly used in synergy with cellulases to enhance biomass deconstruction. However, there are few examples of the use of monocomponent LPMOs as a tool for cellulose fibrillation. In this work, we took advantage of the LPMO action to facilitate disruption of wood cellulose fibers as a strategy to produce nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC). Results:The fungal LPMO from AA9 family (PaLPMO9E) was used in this study as it displays high specificity toward cellulose and its recombinant production in bioreactor is easily upscalable. The treatment of birchwood fibers with PaLPMO9E resulted in the release of a mixture of C1-oxidized oligosaccharides without any apparent modification in fiber morphology and dimensions. The subsequent mechanical shearing disintegrated the LPMO-pretreated samples yielding nanoscale cellulose elements. Their gel-like aspect and nanometric dimensions demonstrated that LPMOs disrupt the cellulose structure and facilitate the production of NFC. Conclusions:This study demonstrates the potential use of LPMOs as a pretreatment in the NFC production process. LPMOs weaken fiber cohesion and facilitate fiber disruption while maintaining the crystallinity of cellulose.
Project description:Cellulose is an abundant and renewable biopolymer that can be used for biofuel generation; however, structural entrapment with other cell wall components hinders enzyme-substrate interactions, a key bottleneck for ethanol production. Biomass is routinely subjected to treatments that facilitate cellulase-cellulose contacts. Cellulases and glucosidases act by hydrolyzing glycosidic bonds of linear glucose ?-1,4-linked polymers, producing glucose. Here we describe eight high-temperature-operating cellulases (TCel enzymes) identified from a survey of thermobacterial and archaeal genomes. Three TCel enzymes preferentially hydrolyzed soluble cellulose, while two preferred insoluble cellulose such as cotton linters and filter paper. TCel enzymes had temperature optima ranging from 85°C to 102°C. TCel enzymes were stable, retaining 80% of initial activity after 120 h at 85°C. Two modes of cellulose breakdown, i.e., with endo- and exo-acting glucanases, were detected, and with two-enzyme combinations at 85°C, synergistic cellulase activity was observed for some enzyme combinations.
Project description:Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are a class of powerful oxidative enzymes that breakdown recalcitrant polysaccharides such as cellulose. Here we investigate the action of LPMOs on cellulose fibers. After enzymatic treatment and dispersion, LPMO-treated fibers show intense fibrillation. Cellulose structure modifications visualized at different scales indicate that LPMO creates nicking points that trigger the disintegration of the cellulose fibrillar structure with rupture of chains and release of elementary nanofibrils. Investigation of LPMO action using solid-state NMR provides direct evidence of modification of accessible and inaccessible surfaces surrounding the crystalline core of the fibrils. The chains breakage likely induces modifications of the cellulose network and weakens fibers cohesion promoting their disruption. Besides the formation of new initiation sites for conventional cellulases, this work provides the first evidence of the direct oxidative action of LPMOs with the mechanical weakening of the cellulose ultrastructure. LPMOs can be viewed as promising biocatalysts for enzymatic modification or degradation of cellulose fibers.
Project description:Cotton fibre provides a unicellular model system for studying cell expansion and secondary cell wall deposition. Mature cotton fibres are mainly composed of cellulose while the walls of developing fibre cells contain a variety of polysaccharides and proteoglycans required for cell expansion. This includes hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) comprising the subgroup, extensins. In this study, extensin occurrence in cotton fibres was assessed using carbohydrate immunomicroarrays, mass spectrometry and monosaccharide profiling. Extensin amounts in three species appeared to correlate with fibre quality. Fibre cell expression profiling of the four cotton cultivars, combined with extensin arabinoside chain length measurements during fibre development, demonstrated that arabinoside side-chain length is modulated during development. Implications and mechanisms of extensin side-chain length dynamics during development are discussed.
Project description:Background:We recently confirmed that the deactivation of T. reesei cellulases at the air-liquid interface reduces microcrystalline cellulose conversion at low enzyme loadings in shaken flasks. It is one of the main causes for lowering of cellulose conversions at low enzyme loadings. However, supplementing cellulases with small quantities of surface-active additives in shaken flasks can increase cellulose conversions at low enzyme loadings. It was also shown that cellulose conversions at low enzyme loadings can be increased in unshaken flasks if the reactions are carried for a longer time. This study further explores these recent findings to better understand the impact of air-liquid interfacial phenomena on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose contained in Avicel, Sigmacell, ?-cellulose, cotton linters, and filter paper. The impacts of solids and enzyme loadings, supplementation with nonionic surfactant Tween 20 and xylanases, and application of different types of mixing and reactor designs on cellulose hydrolysis were also evaluated. Results:Avicel cellulose conversions at high solid loading were more than doubled by minimizing loss of cellulases to the air-liquid interface. Maximum cellulose conversions were high for surface-active supplemented shaken flasks or unshaken flasks because of low cellulase deactivation at the air-liquid interface. The nonionic surfactant Tween 20 was unable to completely prevent cellulase deactivation in shaken flasks and only reduced cellulose conversions at unreasonably high concentrations. Conclusions:High dynamic interfacial areas created through baffles in reactor vessels, low volumes in high-capacity vessels, or high shaking speeds severely limited cellulose conversions at low enzyme loadings. Precipitation of cellulases due to aggregation at the air-liquid interface caused their continuous deactivation in shaken flasks and severely limited solubilization of cellulose.
Project description:Cellulolytic enzyme components of culture filtrates of Trichoderma koningii were fractionated on ionic and non-ionic forms of Sephadex and on cellulose powder (Whatman) and examined for their ability to hydrolyse soluble carboxymethyl-cellulose, and to saccharify, solubilize and form short fibres from native undegraded cellulose of the type found in cotton. DEAE-Sephadex provided two CM-cellulase components and a C(1) component; the C(1) component acted weakly and solely on cotton, forming soluble products but not short fibres. The ability to form short fibres was confined almost wholly to one of the CM-cellulase components which completely degraded cotton, minimally to soluble products and extensively to short fibres. The latter action was unaffected by the presence of the other two components. The two CM-cellulase components solubilized cellulose synergistically whereas the short-fibre-forming component and C(1) component were inhibitory.
Project description:Brown cotton fibres are the most widely used naturally coloured raw materials for the eco-friendly textile industry. Previous studies have indicated that brown fibre pigments belong to proanthocyanidins (PAs) or their derivatives, and fibre coloration is negatively associated with cotton productivity and fibre quality. To date, the molecular basis controlling the biosynthesis and accumulation of brown pigments in cotton fibres is largely unknown. In this study, based on expressional and transgenic analyses of cotton homologs of ArabidopsisPA regulator TRANSPARENT TESTA 2 (TT2) and fine-mapping of the cotton dark-brown fibre gene (Lc1), we show that a TT2 homolog, GhTT2-3A, controls PA biosynthesis and brown pigmentation in cotton fibres. We observed that GhTT2-3A activated GhbHLH130D, a homolog of ArabidopsisTT8, which in turn synergistically acted with GhTT2-3A to activate downstream PA structural genes and PA synthesis and accumulation in cotton fibres. Furthermore, the up-regulation of GhTT2-3A in fibres at the secondary wall-thickening stage resulted in brown mature fibres, and fibre quality and lint percentage were comparable to that of the white-fibre control. The findings of this study reveal the regulatory mechanism controlling brown pigmentation in cotton fibres and demonstrate a promising biotechnological strategy to break the negative linkage between coloration and fibre quality and/or productivity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Knowledge of plant secondary cell wall (SCW) regulation and deposition is mainly based on the Arabidopsis model of a 'typical' lignocellulosic SCW. However, SCWs in other plants can vary from this. The SCW of mature cotton seed fibres is highly cellulosic and lacks lignification whereas xylem SCWs are lignocellulosic. We used cotton as a model to study different SCWs and the expression of the genes involved in their formation via RNA deep sequencing and chemical analysis of stem and seed fibre.<h4>Results</h4>Transcriptome comparisons from cotton xylem and pith as well as from a developmental series of seed fibres revealed tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression of several NAC transcription factors some of which are likely to be important as top tier regulators of SCW formation in xylem and/or seed fibre. A so far undescribed hierarchy was identified between the top tier NAC transcription factors SND1-like and NST1/2 in cotton. Key SCW MYB transcription factors, homologs of Arabidopsis MYB46/83, were practically absent in cotton stem xylem. Lack of expression of other lignin-specific MYBs in seed fibre relative to xylem could account for the lack of lignin deposition in seed fibre. Expression of a MYB103 homolog correlated with temporal expression of SCW CesAs and cellulose synthesis in seed fibres. FLAs were highly expressed and may be important structural components of seed fibre SCWs. Finally, we made the unexpected observation that cell walls in the pith of cotton stems contained lignin and had a higher S:G ratio than in xylem, despite that tissue's lacking many of the gene transcripts normally associated with lignin biosynthesis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study in cotton confirmed some features of the currently accepted gene regulatory cascade for 'typical' plant SCWs, but also revealed substantial differences, especially with key downstream NACs and MYBs. The lignocellulosic SCW of cotton xylem appears to be achieved differently from that in Arabidopsis. Pith cell walls in cotton stems are compositionally very different from that reported for other plant species, including Arabidopsis. The current definition of a 'typical' primary or secondary cell wall might not be applicable to all cell types in all plant species.
Project description:Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO) represents a unique principle of oxidative degradation of recalcitrant insoluble polysaccharides. Used in combination with hydrolytic enzymes, LPMO appears to constitute a significant factor of the efficiency of enzymatic biomass depolymerization. LPMO activity on different cellulose substrates has been shown from the slow release of oxidized oligosaccharides into solution, but an immediate and direct demonstration of the enzyme action on the cellulose surface is lacking. Specificity of LPMO for degrading ordered crystalline and unordered amorphous cellulose material of the substrate surface is also unknown. We show by fluorescence dye adsorption analyzed with confocal laser scanning microscopy that a LPMO (from Neurospora crassa) introduces carboxyl groups primarily in surface-exposed crystalline areas of the cellulosic substrate. Using time-resolved in situ atomic force microscopy we further demonstrate that cellulose nano-fibrils exposed on the surface are degraded into shorter and thinner insoluble fragments. Also using atomic force microscopy, we show that prior action of LPMO enables cellulases to attack otherwise highly resistant crystalline substrate areas and that it promotes an overall faster and more complete surface degradation. Overall, this study reveals key characteristics of LPMO action on the cellulose surface and suggests the effects of substrate morphology on the synergy between LPMO and hydrolytic enzymes in cellulose depolymerization.
Project description:1. The action of cell-free filtrates from Trichoderma koningii was examined on undegraded cellulose in the form of cotton fibres, on degraded cellulose in the form of cellulose powder reprecipitated from phosphoric acid and on the soluble cellulose derivative CM-cellulose. 2. The cell-free filtrates compare favourably with intact cellulolytic micro-organisms in producing complete solubilization of undegraded as well as of degraded types of cellulose. Enzymic solubilization of cotton fibres gives quantitative conversion into glucose. Cellobiase is present. 3. The early enzymic breakdown of cotton fibres is characterized by the formation of very short fibres that increase to a maximum and disappear gradually by conversion into glucose. Disintegration of cotton fibres to short fibres is assisted by shaking, and within 20hr. the enzyme converts a minor fraction (up to 16%) of substrate into soluble products and a major portion (80%) into insoluble short fibres. 4. Maximum enzymic activity on cotton fibres occurs at about pH5.0, measured by the formation of short fibres, and at about pH3.8 on reprecipitated cellulose, measured by solubilization of the substrate. 5. Gluconolactone, glucose and cellobiose fail to produce marked inhibition of the enzymic hydrolysis of cotton fibres to short fibres or of the solubilization of reprecipitated cellulose unless present in amounts comparable with or greater than the initial weight of these two forms of cellulose. 6. The heavy-metal ions Cu(2+), Hg(2+) and Fe(3+) at 2mm concentration give 80-100% decrease in the enzymic breakdown of cotton fibres, measured by the formation of short fibres. At the same concentration Hg(2+) and Fe(3+) but not Cu(2+) also produce 70-100% inhibition of the solubilization of reprecipitated cellulose. 7. The ability to hydrolyse cotton fibres to short fibres and CM-cellulose to sugars is completely lost after heating enzyme preparations for 10min. at 71 degrees .