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The Santorini Volcanic Complex as a Valuable Source of Enzymes for Bioenergy

1
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture, Gournes Pediados, P.O. Box 2214, GR 71003 Heraklion, Greece
2
Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupoli Zografou, 15784 Athens, Greece
3
Department of Biology, University of Crete, GR 71500 Crete, Greece
4
Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Byong-Hun Jeon
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051414
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 28 February 2021 / Published: 4 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotechnology: Applications and Challenges)
Marine microbial communities are an untapped reservoir of genetic and metabolic diversity and a valuable source for the discovery of new natural products of biotechnological interest. The newly discovered hydrothermal vent field of Santorini volcanic complex located in the Aegean Sea is gaining increasing interest for potential biotechnological exploitation. The conditions in these environments, i.e., high temperatures, low pH values and high concentration of heavy metals, often resemble harsh industrial settings. Thus, these environments may serve as pools of enzymes of enhanced catalytic properties that may provide benefits to biotechnology. Here, we screened 11 metagenomic libraries previously constructed from microbial mat samples covering the seafloor and the polymetallic chimneys of Kolumbo volcano as well as mat samples from Santorini caldera, to mine, in silico, genes associated with bioenergy applications. We particularly focused on genes encoding biomass hydrolysis enzymes such as cellulases, hemicellulases and lignin-degrading enzymes. A total of 10,417 genes were found for three specific groups of enzymes—i.e., the endoglucanases, the three different beta-glucosidases BGL, bglX and bglB, and the alpha-galactosidases melA, and rafA. Overall, we concluded that the Santorini–Kolumbo volcanic ecosystems constitute a significant resource of novel genes with potential applications in bioenergy that deserve further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioenergy; metagenomics; extreme environments; microbial mats; submarine volcanoes; Santorini bioenergy; metagenomics; extreme environments; microbial mats; submarine volcanoes; Santorini
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MDPI and ACS Style

Polymenakou, P.N.; Nomikou, P.; Zafeiropoulos, H.; Mandalakis, M.; Anastasiou, T.I.; Kilias, S.; Kyrpides, N.C.; Kotoulas, G.; Magoulas, A. The Santorini Volcanic Complex as a Valuable Source of Enzymes for Bioenergy. Energies 2021, 14, 1414. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051414

AMA Style

Polymenakou PN, Nomikou P, Zafeiropoulos H, Mandalakis M, Anastasiou TI, Kilias S, Kyrpides NC, Kotoulas G, Magoulas A. The Santorini Volcanic Complex as a Valuable Source of Enzymes for Bioenergy. Energies. 2021; 14(5):1414. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051414

Chicago/Turabian Style

Polymenakou, Paraskevi N., Paraskevi Nomikou, Haris Zafeiropoulos, Manolis Mandalakis, Thekla I. Anastasiou, Stephanos Kilias, Nikos C. Kyrpides, Georgios Kotoulas, and Antoniοs Magoulas. 2021. "The Santorini Volcanic Complex as a Valuable Source of Enzymes for Bioenergy" Energies 14, no. 5: 1414. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051414

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