Journal article Open Access

Bacterial enzymes for lignin depolymerisation: new biocatalysts for generation of renewable chemicals from biomass

Bugg, Timothy D. H.; Williamson, James J.; Rashid, Goran M. M.

The conversion of polymeric lignin from plant biomass into renewable chemicals is an important unsolved problem in the biorefinery concept. This article summarises recent developments in the discovery of bacterial enzymes for lignin degradation, our current understanding of their molecular mechanism of action, and their use to convert lignin or lignocellulose into aromatic chemicals. The review also discusses recent developments in screening of metagenomic libraries for new biocatalysts, and the use of protein engineering to enhance lignin degradation activity.

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