The PEROXICATS consortium includes the main expertises required to address this challenging collaborative project. The team includes the indispensable industrial presence with two companies being complementary in their business areas, as well as four research/academic partners that are groups of excellence at the European level in the fields of oxidoreductase screening, structure-function, rational and non-rational improvement and evaluation as industrial biocatalysts.
CSIC - Biological Research Centre, Madrid, Spain (CIB)
: F.J. Ruiz-Dueñas
, Line of Microbiology for Sustainable Development, CIB
, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, E-28040 Madrid, Spain; Phone 34 918373112, Fax 34 915360432, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Description of the group
: The Biotechnology for Lignocellulosic Biomass Group (see http://www.cib.csic.es/research/environmental-biology/biotechnology-lignocellulosic-biomass
) has wide expertise in microbial enzymes of biotechnological interest. It is part of the "Microbiology for Sustainable Development" research line of CIB
, the largest Biology
institute of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC
) with near 130 research institutes in 8 scientific-technical areas distributed through Spain.
contribution to PEROXICATS
is led by Dr Francisco J. Ruiz-Dueñas
, Ramón y Cajal
Scientist, who has large experience in heme-peroxidases (molecular biology, structure-function and engineering) resulting in around 40 publications
(papers, patents, etc). The PEROXICATS
project is coordinated by Dr Angel T. Martínez
, Research Professor (member of ACS, ASM and TAPPI) who has around 200 publications mainly related to oxidoreductases and microbial biotechnology.
Main role in PEROXICATS
: The main role of CIB
will be the structure-function characterization and rational design of peroxidases, together with genome screening for new genes, their bacterial expression (and in vitro
activation) as a requisite for the rational design work, and some contribution to enzyme evaluation.
will be also performed by CIB
, in collaboration with IRNAS
. The Coordinator and Project Secretariat will be assisted by Mercedes Costi
and David González
from the CSIC Office of EU-projects in those aspects related to Consortium Agreement management and project administrative coordination, respectively.
CSIC - Institute of Catalysis and Petroleochemistry, Madrid, Spain (ICP)
: M. Alcalde,
Department of Biocatalysis, Institute of Catalysis, CSIC
, Universidad Autónoma, Marie Curie 2, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid; Phone 34 915854806, Fax 34 915854760, E-mail email@example.com
Description of the group
: The Applied Biocatalysis Group (www.icp.csic.es/abg
) of ICP
(one of the institutes of the Chemical Science/Technology
area of CSIC
) is directed by Prof Antonio Ballesteros
, Dr Francisco Plou
and Dr Miguel Alcalde
, and has been working for more than 30 years in the area of Biocatalysis (Biotechnology).
M. Alcalde is the responsible of the ICP
participation in the project. He is Staff Scientist of the CSIC
at the ICP
since 2007. He is taking the responsibility of the directed evolution research line in the group since he returned to our Institute in 2003. Previously he made his postdoctoral stay in the Frances Arnold laboratory, at the California Institute of Technology (the world pioneering-leader group in directed molecular evolution).
Main role in PEROXICATS:
Our role in this project is the expression and engineering of oxidoreductases (peroxidases and peroxygenases) by directed molecular evolution with the main aim of improving several critical features (stabilities, activities). Our previous experience in protein engineering of fungal oxidoreductases by directed evolution is shown in more than 16 research papers, 3 patents and one PhD-thesis about directed evolution of fungal oxidoreductases. Most of this work has been published in high-level journals (Chemistry & Biology, Proteins, Journal of Biological Chemistry etc) during the last 9 years.
CSIC - Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology, Seville, Spain (IRNAS)
: A. Gutiérrez,
Department of Plant Biotechnology, IRNAS
, Reina Mercedes 10, PO Box 1052, E-41080 Seville, Spain; Phone: +34 954624711; Fax: +34 954624002; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description of the group
: The group belongs to the Department of Plant Biotechnology at IRNAS
(one of the CSIC
institutes in the area of Agriculture
), and has two senior members, Dr Ana Gutiérrez
and Dr José C. del Río
who have high expertise in the chemical and structural characterisation of lignin and lipids by different analytical techniques.
Dr. Ana Gutiérrez
, Research Scientist of the CSIC, is the responsible of the IRNAS
participation in PEROXICATS. She has large expertise in the evaluation of the structural modifications of lipids and lignin after industrial processing, and chemical or enzymatic treatments, resulting in more than 80 SCI-articles
, 100 presentations in congresses and symposia and the issuing of several patents of invention.
Main role in PEROXICATS
: The main role will be the study of the reactions in which the oxidative enzymes developed in the project are involved. The action of the enzymes will be studied with both model compounds and products of industrial interest. The first will include high redox-potential aromatics and lipophilic compounds. Several analytical techniques, including GC-MS, 2D NMR and Pyrolysis-GC/MS will be used to study the modification of monomeric and polymeric substrates. IRNAS
will also contribute to project coordination.
Novozymes A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark (Novozymes)
: Henrik Lund,
Director, Technical Applications, Novozymes
A/S, Krogshoejvej 36, 2880- Bagsvaerd, Denmark; Phone 45 44468502/Mobile 45 30778502; Fax 45 4446 9999, E-mail Hlu@novozymes.com
is world-leader in bio-innovation and the world largest producer of industrial enzymes, with a 45% market share. Its over 700 products are used in more than 40 industries to improve processes and quality, and save water, energy, raw materials and waste. In 2008 Novozymes
reported sales of 1100 million € and spend around 13% of its turnover on R&D. It is headquartered in Denmark and employs approx. 5 000 people in 30 countries, with production plants in Denmark, US, China, Brazil and India. More detailed description can be found on www.novozymes.com
Description of the groups
: Several groups within Novozymes
R&D organization will be involved. The Technical Applications
group is responsible for enzyme product and process development within a range of industries (pulp-paper, waste-treatment, biogas, oil field services, biocatalysis, etc). The group (headed by Henrik Lund
) has 15 people dedicated to the above areas. The following scientists are expected to significantly contribute to the project: i) Lisbeth Kalum
, Sr. researcher specialized in oxidoreductase for lignocellulose conversion, and advanced oxidation reactions; and ii) Greg C. Delozier
, Sr. researcher specialized in effluent treatment (contributions to enzyme hydroxylation of recalcitrant compound in oil refineries and their effluents). The Protein Diversity
department (headed by Steffen Danielsen) is specialized in protein engineering to adapt enzyme specificity and stability for industrial application. Jesper Vind,
Sr.Sc. manager specialized in optimizing enzymes including peroxidases (with contributions in basidiomycete CIP cloning, expression, crystal structure, substrate binding, site-directed mutagenesis, and directed evolution) will be in charge of this part of the project. Strong links exist between the above and other departments within the company.
Main role in PEROXICATS
: The main contributions will be for evaluation of the new/improved peroxidases/peroxygenases in some industrially-relevant hydroxylation and other reactions. Novozymes
is also highly interested in recombinant expression of peroxygenases and their stabilization against peroxide inactivation, and other studies to increase their industrial applicability, in collaboration with other partners. Included in this work will also be the production and recovery of recombinant peroxygenase to be used for the application studies as well as for sampling to the other partners. Finally, H. Lund
will also act as the project Industrial Manager
, promoting the use and exploitation of results.
Internationales Hochschulinstitut Zittau, Zittau, Germany (IHIZ)
: M. Hofrichter,
Unit of Environmental Biotechnology, Markt 23, D-02763 Zittau, Germany; Phone 49 3583 61 2721, Secretary 49 3583 61 2700, Fax 49 3583 61 2734, E-mail email@example.com
The International Graduate School of Zittau (IHIZ
) is a small state university in Saxony in the triangle where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet. It was founded in 1993 and is especially dedicated to the common education of German and foreign Master and PhD students (wwwcms.hs-zigr.de
). At the moment, 240 students from 12 different countries as well as 40 PhD students are studying at IHI Zittau. Staff: 7 permanent professors, 20 guest lectures from 6 countries, 10 senior scientists, 2 language teachers, 4 technicians and 7 administrative employees.
Description of the group:
The Unit of Environmental Biotechnology consists of two research groups (Mycology and Hydrology) and has, at the moment, 26 members. Moreover, more than 30 visiting scientists from 8 countries have worked during the last years in the laboratories of the unit. Research of the unit focuses on the bioconversion of natural polymers and the biotransformation of small compounds by basidiomycetous and ascomycetous fungi. During the last years, the scientific interest has focused onto a new type of extracellular peroxidase that acts as a true peroxygenase, i.e. it represents a functional hybrid of peroxidases and cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases.
Dr. Martin Hofrichter
Dr. Christiane Liers
The contribution to PEROXICATS
is led by Martin Hofrichter
(Professor, Head of the Unit; and Prorector for Research at IHIZ) in collaboration with Dr. Christiane Liers
(junior Professor). The following members of the group will be also involved in the project: René Ullrich
(senior scientist, protein characterization), Christina Seidler
(senior scientist), Martin Kluge
(PhD student, chemical analysis), Matthias Kinne
(MSc, PhD student, biochemistry of peroxygenases, Marek Pecyna
(PhD student, molecular biology), Marzena Poraj-Kobielska
(PhD student, conversion of pharmaceuticals), Sebastian Peter
(PhD student, alkane oxygenation) and Ulrike Schneider
(technician, culture collection)
Main role in PEROXICATS:
Within the project, IHIZ
will focus on the search for new biocatalysts and the study of different aspects of the novel peroxidases/peroxygenases including: isolation of new enzymes from fungi colonizing specific/extreme habitats, and screening databases and transcriptomes for gene sequences; characterization of the wild-type, heterologously expressed and engineered enzymes; regulation and promoter studies; and evaluation of the catalytic potential of newly developed peroxidases/peroxygenases.
JenaBios Biotechnologien und Serviceleistungen GmbH, Jena, Germany (BIOS)
: Manfred Grün
, Managing Director, and Katrin Scheibner
, Unit of scientific R&D board, Orlaweg 2, D-07743 Jena, Germany; Phone 49 36413096330, Mobil 49 15117862127, Fax 49 36413096338, E-mails m.grün@food-jena.de
Prof. Dr. Manfred Grün (Managing Director).
distributes fungal peroxidases and phenoloxidases for biotechnological applications, research and development. BIOS
was founded in 1998 by scientists who wanted to share their proven utilities and experience with the life science community. The company is located in the “High-tech valley“ of the traditional university town Jena in Germany. The company is integrated in a consortium of 3 companies (with more than 20 academics) with several business areas and product fields. Enzymes are produced by fermentation of highly selective fungi and purchased as bulk or partly purified biocatalysts. Applications of ligninolytic enzymes and fungi are oxidative syntheses, degradability tests, modification of natural and synthetic materials, waste treatment in the textile and pulp-paper industry, colouring processes, bioremediation (e.g. of organo-arsenical warfare agents and explosives), oxidative degradation and bleaching processes and nutritional modification of animal feed. The BIOS
whole business area includes: fungal peroxidases, laccases, hydrolases, strain selection, screening and optimized cultivation; microbial fermentations; enzymatic catalysis and synthesis, degradability tests; environmental & air analyses; risk assessment for chemicals.
Main role in PEROXICATS: BIOS
will extend the own product portfolio and provide peroxygenases in several purities. Together with IHIZ, K. Scheibner
first described peroxygenases and developed selected very specific production and isolation strategies for the own production strains. Several biotechnological application perspectives of peroxygenases were patented/described by BIOS
. Its contribution to PEROXICATS
will focus on peroxygenase screening and expression.
Prof. Angel T. Martínez
Biological Research Centre (CIB, CSIC)
Calle Ramiro de Maeztu 9, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.
Phone: 34 918373112; Fax: 34 915360432
Large experience in EU projects
The consortium as a whole has not only the S&T competence required to carry out the research proposed, but also the adequate experience in similar collaborative projects (acquired in other EU calls).
In this way, several of the PEROXICATS
partners have already worked together in other EU projects. CIB
jointly coordinated the WEB
FP4-project on "Wood extractives in pulp and paper manufacture" (FAIR-CT95-560, 1.2 million € EC funding). Novozymes
participated in the two FP5 projects, PELAS
on “Fungal metalloenzymes oxidizing aromatic compounds of industrial interest" (QLK3-99-590, 1.4 million € EC-funding) and PITCH
on "New environmentally-sound methods for pitch control in different paper pulp manufacturing processes" (QLK5-99-1357, 1.5 million € EC-funding), coordinated by CIB
being also a partner of the latter. Finally, the above three partners, together with IHIZ
, participated in the BIORENEW
FP6-project on "White biotechnology for added value products from renewable plant polymers” (NMP2-CT-2006-26456-2, 9.5 million € funding) also jointly coordinated by CIB
, where Katrin Scheibner (BIOS
) was also a partner although in a different SME company.
Fermentation of Agrocybe aegerita in a 5-L bioreactor in soybean meal suspension. Photo: R. Ulrich.