Plant cell wall active enzymes



Participating researchers:
Lisbeth Olsson, Professor, Head of Division
Johan Larsbrink, Assistant professor
Katja Salomon Johansen, Guest Researcher
Silvia Hüttner, Post Doc
Sun-Li Chong, Post Doc
Ausra Peciulyte, Post Doc
Marcel Taillefer, Post Doc
Scott Mazurkewich, Post Doc
Cyrielle Bonzom, PhD Student
Jenny Arling Bååth, PhD Student
Cathleen Kmezik, PhD Student

Julia Paraskova, Research Engineer
Helén Olsson, Research Engineer
Our interest in plant cell wall acting enzymes includes discovery of novel enzymes, in-depth understanding of the function and action of enzymes in nature, and the use of enzymes for technical applications.
Our research can be divided into three main themes:


  • Using enzymes to hydrolyze major plant cell wall components into fermentable monosaccharides, thereby providing a sugar platform for bio-conversion in different fermentation processes
  • Using enzymes to break the linkages between lignin and carbohydrates in lignocellulosic materials to facilitate extractions of wood polymers in native form
  • Enzymatic conversion of plant cell wall components such as cinnamic acids (antioxidants) into more bioactive components.



Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC)
Researchers: Jenny Arling Bååth, Silvia Hüttner, Scott Mazurkewich, Johan Larsbrink, Lisbeth Olsson
Our activities focus on developing enzymes for wood processing, as part of the Materials Biorefinery concept within the WWSC. We aim to discover and characterize new enzymes, to investigate their capacity in disconnecting hemicelluloses from lignin and to apply them in polymer extraction processes.

Bioinspired Supramolecular Function and Design (SUPRA)
Researchers: Cyrielle Bonzom, Lisbeth Olsson
SUPRA is a collaboration program between Chalmers researchers focusing on supramolecular systems. Within this framework, the Industrial Biotechnology group is part of the “Enzyme-catalyzed reactions in confined media” cluster.

Optibiocat – Optimised esterase biocatalysts for cost-effective industrial production
Researchers: Sun-Li Chong, Silvia Hüttner, Lisbeth Olsson
The aim of the OPTIBIOCAT project is to replace chemical processes, which are currently used for the production of compounds for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries, with enzymatic bioconversion processes.

Critical redox processes for efficient saccharification of lignocellulose
Researchers: Ausra Peciulyte, Katja Salomon Johansen, Lisbeth Olsson
The aim of the project is to provide tangible data on the importance of redox process during industrial conversion of lignocellulose into bioethanol.

Enzyme discovery from Vietnamese fungi
Researcher: Silvia Hüttner, Johan Larsbrink, Lisbeth Olsson
In this SIDA funded collaboration with the Food Industries Research Institute in Hanoi, Vietnam, we aim to discover new enzymes from heat resistant fungi. The enzymes will be used in biomass utilization, such as animal feed pretreatment to improve nutrient access, and for biofuel production from agricultural waste.

Cellulose utilization by soil bacteria
Researchers: Marcel Taillefer, Johan Larsbrink
In this project we study aerobic soil bacteria that are able to efficiently use cellulose as a nutrient source. The enzymatic mechanism by which these species degrade cellulose is not known, and the goal of the project is to discover novel cellulose-degrading enzymes through various –omics techniques.

Developing a consolidated bioprocess for fatty acid production

Researchers: Cathleen Kmezik, Scott Mazurkewich, Johan Larsbrink
In this project, funded by a Starting Grant by the Swedish Research Council, the goal is to develop a new type of bioprocess based on bacteria able to break down complex biomass and convert it into high-value short chain fatty acids.

Published: Fri 05 Jun 2015. Modified: Wed 08 Feb 2017