Focused Research Areas : Biochemical Engineering
Exploration of microbial diversity for useful enzymes and bioactive molecules
Microbial diversity is a valuable resource of industrially useful enzymes and bioactive molecule. Microbial enzymes are economically important due to their applications in industries such as textile, paper and pulp, biofuel and food . Enzyme based process supplants hazardous chemicals and therefore are eco-friendly.
1. Xylanase(EC188.8.131.52): We have explored microbial diversity for isolation of xylanase producing bacteria, their production and application. Two different potent strains producing xylanase have been isolated and identified as Bacillus altitudinis and a novel sp. belonging to Bacillus subtilis group. Xylanase treatment to Kraft pulp has shown 15 % decrease in the requirement of chemical bleaching compounds.
2. Laccase (EC 184.108.40.206): A novel high redox potential laccase has been isolated from a fungal strain identified as Arthrographis sp. The laccase can degrade a variety of textile dyes including indigo. Process for production of laccase using surface culture reactor has been developed. The laccase has been tested for its ability to bleach denim fabric in industrial set-up.
3. Isolation of Quorum sensing Inhibitor (QSI) Using Chromobacterium violaceum based screen, a Streptomyces strain producing QSI activity has been isolated. Isolation, purification and characterization of the molecule is in progress.
Cephalosporin Modification for production of active intermediates 7-ACA
Semisynthetic Cephalosporins are important in clinical practice due to their antimicrobial spectrum and non allergenic.Cephalosporin C (CEPH-C) is produced by Cephalosporium acremonium. The native cephalsporin is required to be converted into 7-Aminocephalosporanic acid (7-ACA) for making its semisynthetic derivatives. A method for conversion of cephalosporin C to Glutaryl-7-ACA using D-Amino acid oxidase and conversion of GL-7-ACA to 7-ACA by Glutaryl-7-ACA acylase was done. A Bacillus strain producing GL-7-ACA acylase was screened. The enzyme has been isolated, purified and characterized.
Screening for pectinase
Streptomyces sp producing QSI
Dose dependent QSI inhibition by a compound isolated from Streptomyces sp. 671
Xylanase activity assay Novel Arthrographis strain
Colony morphology on YPD agar
Denim bleaching by laccase produced by Arthrographis sp