Cloning of novel bacterial xylanases from lignocellulose-enriched compost metagenomic libraries

Simo Ellilä (Corresponding Author), Paul Bromann, Mari Nyyssönen, Merja Itävaara, Anu Koivula, Lars Paulin, Kristiina Kruus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Xylanases are in important class of industrial enzymes that are essential for the complete hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars. In the present study, we report the cloning of novel xylanases with interesting properties from compost metagenomics libraries. Controlled composting of lignocellulosic materials was used to enrich the microbial population in lignocellulolytic organisms. DNA extracted from the compost samples was used to construct metagenomics libraries, which were screened for xylanase activity. In total, 40 clones exhibiting xylanase activity were identified and the thermostability of the discovered xylanases was assayed directly from the library clones. Five genes, including one belonging to the more rare family GH8, were selected for subcloning and the enzymes were expressed in recombinant form in E. coli. Preliminary characterization of the metagenome-derived xylanases revealed interesting properties of the novel enzymes, such as high thermostability and specific activity, and differences in hydrolysis profiles. One enzyme was found to perform better than a standard Trichoderma reesei xylanase in the hydrolysis of lignocellulose at elevated temperatures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number124
    JournalAMB Express
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    Support for this work was provided by the EU 7th framework-projects NEMO (Novel high performance enzymes and micro-organisms for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol), Grant no. 222699 and DISCO (Targeted DISCOvery of novel cellulases and hemicellulases and their reaction mechanisms for hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass), Grant no. 211863 and the TEKES project METAGENO (New industrial biocatalysts from environmental microbial metagenomes), Grant no. 40148/07.


    • Cloning
    • Compost
    • Lignocellulose
    • Metagenomics
    • Screening
    • Xylanase


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