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Cell-Free System for Combinatorial Discovery of Enzymes Capable of Transforming Biomass for Biofuels


UW-Madison GLBRC researchers have developed compositions and methods that expand the ability to make, express and identify target polypeptides, including enzymes capable of enhancing the deconstruction of biomass into fermentable sugars. This approach uses a cell-free system to express enzymes and other polypeptides in a combinatorial manner. Because the system is cell-free, the enzymes can be assayed without intermediate cloning steps or purification of the protein products. This system also is more reliable than conventional methods for analyzing biomass transformation because it does not utilize living systems, which could rapidly consume soluble sugars. This system could be used to efficiently screen enzyme combinations for effective deconstruction of biomass from different feedstocks and under different conditions.
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