Larry Taylor received his Ph.D. in Environmental Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the Marine and Estuarine Environmental Sciences department at the University of Maryland, College Park. His dissertation work focused on the functional genomics of the plant cell wall degrading enzyme systems of the marine bacterium Saccharophagus degradans 2-40, which was isolated from decaying salt marsh grass the Chesapeake Bay watershed in 1988. Preliminary genomic analyses revealed that the S. degradans encodes more than 180 predicted carbohydrases. Under the direction of Prof. Ronald M. Weiner, and in collaboration with Dr. Bernard Henrisaat, Dr. Taylor identified the predicted cellulase system of S. degradans through sequence homology analysis supplemented with cloning, expression, and functional analysis of various enzyme components. He also identified predicted hemicellulase and pectinase systems in the S. degradans genome. Further studies provided insight into the induction and regulation of S. degradans plant cell wall degrading enzyme systems in response to purified substrates, including cellulose, β-1,3(4)-glucan, β-1,3-glucan, and xylan. The growth characteristics and enzyme activities induced during metabolism of purified substrates were compared to those observed during growth on intact plant biomass.
Dr. Taylor's research interests concentrate on studying the enzymatic breakdown of plant biomass to determine ideal combinations of activities required for optimal polysaccharide conversion for various types of plant material. He is particularly interested in using organisms such as Trichoderma reesei and S. degradans as model systems for total enzymatic conversion of biomass. He is currently focusing on high-throughput screening of enzyme combinations to identify synergistic mixtures with improved activity on biomass.
- Taylor, L.E.; Henrissat, B.; Coutinho, P.; Ekborg, N.; Hutcheson, S.; Weiner, R. (2006). "A complete cellulase system in the marine bacterium Saccharophagus degradans strain 2-40 T." J Bacteriol. (188); pp. 3849-3861.
- Ekborg, N.A., Taylor, L.E.; Longmire, A.; Henrissat, B.; Weiner, R.; Hutchison, S. (2006). "Genomic and proteomic analysis of the agarolytic system encoded by Saccharophagus degradans 2-40." Appl Env Microbiol (72); pp. 3396-3405.
- Ekborg, N.A., Gonzalez, J.M.; Howard, M.B.; Taylor, L.E.; Hutcheson,S.; Weiner, R. (2005). "Saccharophagus degradans gen. nov., sp. nov., A versatile marine bacterial degrader of complex polysaccharides." Int J Syst Evolut Microbiol (55); pp. 1545-1549.