Co-encapsulation of amyloglucosidase with starch and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as basis for a long-lasting CO2 release

  • Pascal Humbert
  • Marina Vemmer
  • Marco Giampà
  • Hanna Bednarz
  • Karsten Niehaus
  • Anant V. PatelEmail author
Original Paper


CO2 is known as a major attractant for many arthropod pests which can be exploited for pest control within novel attract-and-kill strategies. This study reports on the development of a slow-release system for CO2 based on calcium alginate beads containing granular corn starch, amyloglucosidase and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our aim was to evaluate the conditions which influence the CO2 release and to clarify the biochemical reactions taking place within the beads. The amyloglucosidase was immobilized with a high encapsulation efficiency of 87% in Ca-alginate beads supplemented with corn starch and S. cerevisiae biomass. The CO2 release from the beads was shown to be significantly affected by the concentration of amyloglucosidase and corn starch within the beads as well as by the incubation temperature. Beads prepared with 0.1 amyloglucosidase units/g matrix solution led to a long-lasting CO2 emission at temperatures between 6 and 25 °C. Starch degradation data correlated well with the CO2 release from beads during incubation and scanning electron microscopy micrographs visualized the degradation of corn starch granules by the co-encapsulated amyloglucosidase. By implementing MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry imaging for the analysis of Ca-alginate beads, we verified that the encapsulated amyloglucosidase converts starch into glucose which is immediately consumed by S. cerevisiae cells. When applied into the soil, the beads increased the CO2 concentration in soil significantly. Finally, we demonstrated that dried beads showed a CO2 production in soil comparable to the moist beads. The long-lasting CO2-releasing beads will pave the way towards novel attract-and-kill strategies in pest control.


Alginate beads Attract-and-kill Baker’s yeast Carbon dioxide Co-immobilization Glucoamylase Slow-release 



We would like to thank T. Dellweg from Deutsche Hefewerke GmbH (Nürnberg, Germany) for providing baker’s yeast strain S. cerevisiae H205.


This study was supported by means of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as part of the project ATTRACT (No. 2814701811).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascal Humbert
    • 1
  • Marina Vemmer
    • 1
  • Marco Giampà
    • 2
  • Hanna Bednarz
    • 2
  • Karsten Niehaus
    • 2
  • Anant V. Patel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Fermentation and Formulation of Biologicals and ChemicalsBielefeld University of Applied SciencesBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Biology, Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Proteome and Metabolome ResearchBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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