Isolation and Characterization of Lignocellulose-Degrading Geobacillus thermoleovorans from Yellowstone National Park
Meslé, Margaux M.
Mueller, Rebecca C.
Tripet, Brian P.
Peyton, Brent M.
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The microbial degradation of lignocellulose in natural ecosystems presents numerous biotechnological opportunities, including biofuel production from agricultural waste and feedstock biomass. To explore the degradation potential of specific thermophiles, we have identified and characterized extremophilic microorganisms isolated from hot springs environments that are capable of biodegrading lignin and cellulose substrates under thermoalkaline conditions, using a combination of culturing, genomics, and metabolomics techniques. Organisms that can use lignin and cellulose as a sole carbon source at 60 to 75°C were isolated from sediment slurry of thermoalkaline hot springs (71 to 81°C and pH 8 to 9) of Yellowstone National Park. Full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing indicated that these isolates were closely related to Geobacillus thermoleovorans. Interestingly, most of these isolates demonstrated biofilm formation on lignin, a phenotype that is correlated with increased bioconversion. Assessment of metabolite level changes in two Geobacillus isolates from two representative springs were undertaken to characterize the metabolic responses associated with growth on glucose versus lignin carbon source as a function of pH and temperature. Overall, results from this study support that thermoalkaline springs harbor G. thermoleovorans microorganisms with lignocellulosic biomass degradation capabilities and potential downstream biotechnological applications.
Meslé, Margaux M., Rebecca C. Mueller, Jesse Peach, Brian Eilers, Brian P. Tripet, Brian Bothner, Valérie Copié, and Brent M. Peyton. "Isolation and Characterization of Lignocellulose-Degrading Geobacillus thermoleovorans from Yellowstone National Park." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 88, no. 1 (2022): e00958-21.