Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 57, Issue 10, pp 865–873 | Cite as

Antarctic tundra soil metagenome as useful natural resources of cold-active lignocelluolytic enzymes

  • Han Na Oh
  • Doyoung Park
  • Hoon Je Seong
  • Dockyu KimEmail author
  • Woo Jun SulEmail author
Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology


Lignocellulose composed of complex carbohydrates and aromatic heteropolymers is one of the principal materials for the production of renewable biofuels. Lignocellulose-degrading genes from cold-adapted bacteria have a potential to increase the productivity of biological treatment of lignocellulose biomass by providing a broad range of treatment temperatures. Antarctic soil metagenomes allow to access novel genes encoding for the cold-active lignocellulose-degrading enzymes, for biotechnological and industrial applications. Here, we investigated the metagenome targeting cold-adapted microbes in Antarctic organic matter-rich soil (KS 2-1) to mine lignolytic and celluloytic enzymes by performing single molecule, real-time metagenomic (SMRT) sequencing. In the assembled Antarctic metagenomic contigs with relative long reads, we found that 162 (1.42%) of total 11,436 genes were annotated as carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZy). Actinobacteria, the dominant phylum in this soil’s metagenome, possessed most of candidates of lignocellulose catabolic genes like glycoside hydrolase families (GH13, GH26, and GH5) and auxiliary activity families (AA7 and AA3). The predicted lignocellulose degradation pathways in Antarctic soil metagenome showed synergistic role of various CAZyme harboring bacterial genera including Streptomyces, Streptosporangium, and Amycolatopsis. From phylogenetic relationships with cellular and environmental enzymes, several genes having potential for participating in overall lignocellulose degradation were also found. The results indicated the presence of lignocellulose-degrading bacteria in Antarctic tundra soil and the potential benefits of the lignocelluolytic enzymes as candidates for cold-active enzymes which will be used for the future biofuel-production industry.


metagenomics lignocellulose degradation SMRT sequencing CAZy cold-active enzymes Antarctica 


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This research was supported by a grant to the Korea Polar Research Institute (PE19090) and by the Collaborative Genome Program of the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion (KIMST) funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) (No. 20180430).


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems BiotechnologyChung-Ang UniversityAnseongRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Polar Life SciencesKorea Polar Research InstituteIncheonRepublic of Korea

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