Enzymes from Extreme Environments

Enzymes are nature’s biocatalysts empowered with high catalytic power and remarkable substrate specificity. Enzymes perform a wide range of functions throughout nature, and guide the biochemistry of life with great precision. The majority of enzymes perform under conditions considered normal for mesophilic, neutrophilic, terrestrial microorganisms. However, the Earth’s biosphere contains several regions that are extreme in comparison, such as hypersaline lakes and pools, hydrothermal vents, cold oceans, dry deserts and areas exposed to intensive radiation. These areas are inhabited by a large number of extremophilic microorganisms which produce enzymes capable of functioning in unusual conditions.

There is an increasing biotechnological and industrial demand for enzymes stable and functioning in harsh conditions, and over the past decade screening for, isolation and production of enzymes with unique and extreme properties has become one of the foremost areas of biotechnology research. The development of advanced molecular biology tools has facilitated the quest for production of enzymes with optimized and extreme features. These tools include large-scale screening for potential genes using metagenomics, engineering of enzymes using computational techniques and site-directed mutagenesis and molecular evolution techniques.

The steady increase in the number of newly isolated extremophilic microorganisms and the discovery of their enzymes by academic and industrial institutions underlines the enormous potential of extremophiles for application in future biotechnological processes. Enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms offer versatile tools for sustainable developments in a variety of industrial application.  New techniques, such as genomics, metanogenomics, DNA evolution and gene shuffling, will lead to the production of enzymes that are highly specific for countless industrial application.

  • New enzymes for industrial bioconversions
  • Application of Marine Microbial Enzymes
  • Microbial Interactions.
  • Application of Biocatalysts

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