Recent Patents on Genetic Modification of Plants and Microbes for Biomass Conversion to Biofuels
Simona Lubieniechi, Thinesh Peranantham and David B. Levin
Affiliation: Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, E2-376 EITC, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 5V6.
Keywords: Biomass, Biofuels, Genetic modification, Lignocellulose, Patents, Plants, Pretreatment, Microorganisms, Hemicellulose, PRE-TREATED BIOMASS, cellulolytic enzymes, altered morphology, Genetic Engineering of Lignin, Flccellulase-transgenic plants, Zymomonas Species, recombinant hosts, quorum sensing, Gene knockout mesophilic, pentose sugars, CONSOLIDATED BIOPROCESSING
Development of sustainable energy systems based on renewable biomass feedstocks is now a global effort.
Lignocellulosic biomass contains polymers of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, bound together in a complex structure.
Liquid biofuels, such as ethanol, can be made from biomass via fermentation of sugars derived from the cellulose and
hemicellulose within lignocellulosic materials, but pre-treatment of the biomass to release sugars for microbial conversion
is a significant barrier to commercial success of lignocellulosic biofuel production. Strategies to reduce the energy and
cost inputs required for biomass pre-treatment include genetic modification of plant materials to reduce lignin content.
Significant efforts are also underway to create recombinant microorganisms capable of converting sugars derived from
lignocellulosic biomass to a variety of biofuels. An alternative strategy to reduce the costs of cellulosic biofuel production
is the use of cellulolytic microorganisms capable of direct microbial conversion of ligno-cellulosic biomass to fuels. This
paper reviews recent patents on genetic modification of plants and microbes for biomass conversion to biofuels.
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