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Microbial Biotechnology and Enzyme Engineering >> Research Projects
    • Project I: "Enzymes for the food and animal feed industries: classical and metagenomic approaches" We aim to propose efficient enzymes and enzyme production processes and formulations for industrial applications. These enzymes can be screened by conventional microbiological and/or functional metagenomic methods (ongoing exploration of the digestive microbiote of the dromedary camel). The project focuses particularly on enzymes of interest for the food, bread making (such as amylases, xylananses), confectionary (such as D-fructoses, D-tagatoses and palatinoses), and animal feed (such as β-glucanases, xylanases) industries.

    • Project II: "Enzymes for the detergent and leather tanning and processing industries"
      We aim to search for efficient and cost-effective enzymes for the detergent and leather tanning and processing industries. Special focus will be given to novel proteases and microbial peroxidases for application in detergent formulations to substitute the highly toxic chemicals traditionally used in the detergent industry. Attention will also be given to detergent proteases for the effective posting of protein-based stains and peroxidases for the partial or complete substitution of sodium perborates. Concerning the leather industry, we will search for efficient enzymes for the bating process and effective keratinases for the dehairing-liming procedures without causing skin damages or affecting end-product quality.

    • Project III: "Enzymatic, microbial and biochemical targeting the pathogenicity of Erwinia amylovora" Fire blight is a devastating disease of apple and pear trees caused by Erwinia amylovora. The synthesis of exopolysaccharides (Levan) is one of the important factors responsible for the pathogenesis and virulence of this bacterium. We aim to develop a fire blight biological control strategy via the screening of antagonist endophyte bacteria able to inhibit the pathogen. We also plan to screen enzymes able to hydrolyze the exopolysaccharides responsible for the antibiotic resistance of Erwinia amylovora.