Enzyme and Microbial Development
NREL's enzyme and microbial development researchers improve the performance of enzymes and microbes for fuels and chemicals production from a variety of biomass feedstocks.
In the process, we employ physical chemistry, biochemistry, computational modeling, and synthetic biology.
Revealing Nature's Cellulase Diversity: The hyperactive CelA from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, Science (2013)
How Does Plant Cell Wall Nanoscale Architecture Correlate With Enzymatic Digestibility?, Science (2012)
Biomass Recalcitrance: Engineering Plants and Enzymes for Biofuels Production, Science (2007)
View all NREL enzyme and microbe development publications
We test multiple biomass feedstocks with the standard and exploratory process of pretreatment, enzyme hydrolysis, and microbial conversion.
Our microbial menagerie spans from hyperthermophilic bacteria to industrial filamentous fungi and yeast, as well as unique eukaryotic cellulose degraders such as social amoebae and aquatic crustaceans.
Leveraging our expertise in protein structure/function, physical chemistry, enzyme kinetics, discovery, crystallography, and characterization, we engineer enzymes both for biomass hydrolysis and metabolic pathway improvement.
We combine metabolic pathway engineering with chemical catalysis to generate a variety of biofuels, biochemicals, and bio-materials.
We use molecular biology, protein characterization, proteomics, and HTP screening to improve enzyme function and metabolic flux as well as create new metabolic pathways. We also improve feedstocks through engineering cell wall components and expressing enzymes in muro to enable more efficient hydrolysis.
John O. Baker
Todd Vander Wall
John Michael Yarbrough
Related and Integrated Programs
Microbial Development and Metabolic Engineering
BioEnergy Sciences Center
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
University of Colorado, Boulder
Weizmann Research Institute