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The Potential of Gut Microbiomes for Biotechnological Applications

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Lignocellulose is the most abundant terrestrial reservoir of renewable carbon and energy on Earth. Thus, its use as feedstock for industrial processes represents a highly reliable alternative to fossil resources for the production of energy and commodity chemicals. The main limitation to overcome to ...

Lignocellulose is the most abundant terrestrial reservoir of renewable carbon and energy on Earth. Thus, its use as feedstock for industrial processes represents a highly reliable alternative to fossil resources for the production of energy and commodity chemicals. The main limitation to overcome to development of lignocellulose biorefinery is to reveal the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulosic material.

In the natural environment, microorganisms both fungi and bacteria are the main drivers for lignocellulose carbon recycling. Multicellular organisms such as animals that utilize lignocellulose as main source of energy and nutrients have developed symbiotic relationship with microorganisms to hydrolyze the recalcitrant lignocellulose. For instance, the microbiome found in the gut of ruminants and insects is responsible for lignocellulose degradation and providing the nutrients that are subsequently assimilated by the host. Most of these higher organisms, that degrade plant material, have in common that they house symbiotic microbes in their guts that contribute to nitrogen regulation and deliver fermentative products such as short chain length organic acids, an oxidizable energy source. In return, the microbiota benefits from a stable environment and supply of nutrients.

This Research Topic aims to provide an overview of the knowledge of potential biotechnological application of gut microbiota particularly in the lignocellulose biorefinery context. For this Research Topic, we welcome articles that explore the genetic diversity and functioning of gut microbiota as a model for further biotechnological developments. Articles focused on exploring the potential of animal gut microbiomes (excluding human gut) to realize industrially relevant bioconversion reactions and those investigating the functional mechanisms of enzymes of industrial interest issued from animal gut microbiota are also welcomed. Manuscripts discussing the interactions between insects and their microbiome are especially encouraged.


Keywords: lignocellulose, gut microbiome, valorization, CAZymes, diversity


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