Thermoanaerobacterium bryantii strain mel9T is a thermophilic bacterium isolated from a waste pile of a corn-canning factory. The genome of T. bryantii mel9T was sequenced and a hemicellulase gene cluster was identified. The cluster encodes seven putative enzymes, which are likely an endoxylanase, an α-glucuronidase, two oxidoreductases, two β-xylosidases, and one acetyl xylan esterase. These genes were designated tbxyn10A, tbagu67A, tbheoA, tbheoB, tbxyl52A, tbxyl39A, and tbaxe1A, respectively. Only TbXyn10A released reducing sugars from birchwood xylan, as shown by thin-layer chromatography analysis. The five components of the hemicellulase cluster (TbXyn10A, TbXyl39A, TbXyl52A, TbAgu67A, and TbAxe1A) functioned in synergy to hydrolyze birchwood xylan. Surprisingly, the two putative oxidoreductases increased the enzymatic activities of the gene products from the xylanolytic gene cluster in the presence of NADH and manganese ions. The two oxidoreductases were therefore named Hemicellulase-Enhancing Oxidoreductases (HEOs). All seven enzymes were thermophilic and acted in synergy to degrade xylans at 60 °C. Except for TbXyn10A, the other enzymes encoded by the gene cluster were conserved with high amino acid identities (85–100%) in three other Thermoanaerobacterium species. The conservation of the gene cluster is, therefore, suggestive of an important role of these enzymes in xylan degradation by these bacteria. The mechanism for enhancement of hemicellulose degradation by the HEOs is under investigation. It is anticipated, however, that the discovery of these new actors in hemicellulose deconstruction will have a significant impact on plant cell wall deconstruction in the biofuel industry.
- Hemicellulase gene cluster
- Hemicellulase‐enhancing oxidoreductase
- Thermoanaerobacterium bryantii
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry