Developing symbiotic consortia for lignocellulosic biofuel production
The search for petroleum alternatives has motivated intense research into biological breakdown of lignocellulose to produce liquid fuels such as ethanol. Degradation of lignocellulose for biofuel production is a difficult process which is limited by, among other factors, the recalcitrance of lignocellulose and biological toxicity of the products. Consolidated bioprocessing has been suggested as an efficient and economical method of producing low value products from lignocellulose; however, it is not clear whether this would be accomplished more efficiently with a single organism or community of organisms. This review highlights examples of mixtures of microbes in the context of conceptual models for developing symbiotic consortia for biofuel production from lignocellulose. Engineering a symbiosis within consortia is a putative means of improving both process efficiency and stability relative to monoculture. Because microbes often interact and exist attached to surfaces, quorum sensing and biofilm formation are also discussed in terms of consortia development and stability. An engineered, symbiotic culture of multiple organisms may be a means of assembling a novel combination of metabolic capabilities that can efficiently produce biofuel from lignocellulose.
KeywordsSymbiosis Lignocellulose Biofuel Consortia Consolidated bioprocessing
We would like to thank T.K. Wood at The Pennsylvania State University for his assistance in initial drafts of this work. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant no. DGE-0750756. The authors also acknowledge the financial support to T.R. Zuroff from the John D. and Jeanette McWhirter Fellowship from the Pennsylvania State University Department of Chemical Engineering.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
- Angenent LT, Wrenn BA (2008) Optimizing mixed-culture bioprocessing to convert wastes into bioenergy. In: Wall JD, Harwood CS, Demain A (eds) bioenergy. ASM, Washington, pp 179–194Google Scholar
- Atlas RM (1997) Biodiversity and microbial interactions in the biodegradation of organic compounds. In: Cloete TE, Muyima NYO (eds) Microbial community analysis: the key to the design of biological wastewater treatment systems. IWAQ, London, pp 25–34Google Scholar
- Bernstein HC, Paulson SD, Carlson RP (2011) Synthetic Escherichia coli consortia engineered for syntrophy demonstrate enhanced biomass productivity. J Biotechnol. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.10.001
- Breugelmans P, Barken KB, Tolker-Nielsen T, Hofkens J, Dejonghe W, Springael D (2008) Architecture and spatial organization in a triple-species bacterial biofilm synergistically degrading the phenylurea herbicide linuron. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 64:271–282. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00470.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brune A, Ohkuma M (2011) Role of termite gut microbiota in symbiotic digestion. In: Bignell DE (ed) The biology of termites: a modern synthesis. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 439–479Google Scholar
- Drysdale GS, Fleet GH (1989) The growth and survival of acetic acid bacteria in wines at different concentrations of oxygen. Am J Enol Vitic 40:99–105Google Scholar
- Joyeux A, Lafon-Lafourcade S, Ribéreau-Gayon P (1984) Evolution of acetic acid bacteria during fermentation and storage of wine. Appl Environ Microbiol 48:153–156Google Scholar
- Miyazaki K, Irbis C, Takada J, Matsuura A (2008) An ability of isolated strains to efficiently cooperate in ethanolic fermentation of agricultural plant refuse under initially aerobic thermophilic conditions: oxygen deletion process appended to consolidated bioprocessing (CBP). Bioresour Technol 99:1768–1775. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2007.03.045 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ohta K, Beall DS, Mejia JP, Shanmugam KT, Ingram LO (1991) Metabolic engineering of Klebsiella oxytoca M5A1 for ethanol production from xylose and glucose. Appl Environ Microbiol 57:2810–2815Google Scholar
- Schink B (1997) Energetics of syntrophic cooperation in methanogenic degradation. Microbiol Molecul Biol Rev 61:262–262Google Scholar
- Warikoo V, McInerney MJ, Robinson JA, Suflita JM (1996) Interspecies acetate transfer influences the extent of anaerobic benzoate degradation by syntrophic consortia. Appl Environ Microbiol 62:26–32Google Scholar
- Warnick TA, Methé BA and Leschine SB (2002) Clostridium phytofermentans sp. nov., a cellulolytic mesophile from forest soil. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52:1155–1160Google Scholar
- Warnecke F, Luginühl P, Ivanova N, Ghassemian M, Richardson TH, Stege JT, Cayouette M, McHardy AC, Djordjevic G, Aboushadi N, Sorek R, Tringe SG, Podar M, Martin HG, Kunin V, Dalevi D, Madejska J, Kirton E, Platt D, Szeto E, Salamov A, Barry K, Mikhailova N, Kyrpides NC, Matson EG, Ottesen EA, Zhang X, Hernández M, Murillo C, Acosta LG, Rigoutsos I, Tamayo G, Green BD, Chang C, Rubin EM, Mathur EJ, Robertson DE, Hugenholtz P, Leadbetter JR (2007) Metagenomic and functional analysis of hindgut microbiota of a wood-feeding higher termite. Nature 450:560–565. doi: 10.1038/nature06269 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wongwilaiwalin S, Rattanachomsri U, Laothanachareon T, Eurwilaichitr L, Igarashi Y, Champreda V (2010) Analysis of a thermophilic lignocellulose degrading microbial consortium and multi-species lignocellulolytic enzyme system. Enzyme Microb Technol 47:283–290. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2010.07.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wyman CE (1996) Ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass: overview. In: Wyman CE (ed) Handbook on bioethanol: production and utilization. Taylor and Francis, Washington, pp 1–16Google Scholar