Blue Biotechnology: novel enzymes and products from the oceans

Novel biocatalysts must fit industrial requirements including easy production, broad specificity and high turnover rates, stringent regio- and stereo-selectivity, solvent tolerance and thermal stability. We have screened libraries constructed from metagenomic and genomic DNA obtained from hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria isolated from marine environments. Among others, novel transaminases and highly substrate promiscuous ester hydrolases stable at higher temperatures and in organic solvents were identified. Thus, we demonstrate that marine metagenomic libraries as well as genomes of hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria represent a prolific source for novel biocatalysts with industrially relevant properties.

Karl-Erich Jaeger studied biology and chemistry and obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. From 1988–1989, he worked as a postdoc with Prof. Dr. Robert E. W. Hancock at the Department of Microbiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and completed his habilitation in microbiology at Ruhr-University Bochum. He was appointed in 2002 as a full professor at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and director of the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology at Forschungszentrum Jülich. In 2013, he was additionally appointed as director at the Institute of Bio- und Geosciences IBG-1: Biotechnology by the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH of the Helmholtz Association. Karl-Erich Jaeger published more than 200 research papers and 17 patent applications and he is an editorial board member of several scientific journals.

Moderation: Professor Dr. Uwe Bornscheuer

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