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Enzymes help break down plant cell walls: Bacillus bacteria

The thermostabile TAR-1 strain of Bacillus bacteria breaks down certain components of plant cell walls without breaking down cellulose via xylanase enzymes.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"Since the demonstration that alkali-treated wood pulp could be biologically bleached by xylanases instead of by the usual environmentally damaging chemical process involving chlorine, the search for thermostable alkaline xylanases has been extensive…xylanases [from an alkaliphilic and thermophilic Bacillus strain, TAR-1] did not act on cellulose, indicating a possible application of the enzyme in biological debleaching processes." (Horikoshi 1999:745)
About the inspiring organism
Bacillus
Bacillus

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Non-chlorine bleaching process.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Paper

Experts
Extremobiosphere Research Center
Koki Horikoshi
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
References
Horikoshi, Koki. 1999. Alkaliphiles: Some Applications of Their Products for Biotechnology. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 63(4): 735-750.
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