Biotechnological utilization of animal gut microbiota for valorization of lignocellulosic biomass

  • Emine Gozde Ozbayram
  • Sabine Kleinsteuber
  • Marcell NikolauszEmail author


The aim of this review is to give a summary of natural lignocellulose-degrading systems focusing mainly on animal digestive tracts of wood-feeding insects and ruminants in order to find effective strategies that can be applied to improve anaerobic digestion processes in engineered systems. Wood-feeding animals co-evolved with symbiotic microorganisms to digest lignocellulose-rich biomass in a very successful way. Considering the similarities between these animal gut systems and the lignocellulose-based biotechnological processes, the gut with its microbial consortium can be a perfect model for an advanced lignocellulose-degrading biorefinery. The physicochemical properties and structure of the gut may provide a scheme for the process design, and the microbial consortium may be applied as genetic resource for the up-scaled bioreactor communities. Manipulation of the gut microbiota is also discussed in relation to the management of the reactor communities.


Biomimicry Anaerobic digestion Biorefinery Gut Microbiota Lignocellulose Bioaugmentation 



The study was funded by the Helmholtz Association, Research Program Renewable Energies. Emine Gozde Ozbayram was supported by the Research Fellowship Program of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (grant no. 2214A).The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from BMBF—German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (# 01DN19018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Aquatic SciencesIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Environmental MicrobiologyHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZLeipzigGermany

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