Chapter 8: New Paradigms for Engineering Plant Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes

Michael Himmel, Sarah Morais, Edward Bayer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Cellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable natural biological resource available on Earth. However, plant cell wall structure is extremely difficult to degrade and acts as a natural protective barrier. Research efforts have examined the varied set of microbial strategies to understand how they gain access to and deconstruct the valuable sugars contained in cellulosic biomass to survive and thrive in their environment. Various cellulolytic enzyme paradigms have been identified that include the free enzyme systems, the cellulosome, multifunctional enzymes, and cell wall-associated enzymes. Initiatives to engineer the different enzymatic paradigms are reviewed in the present chapter.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDirect Microbial Conversion of Biomass to Advanced Biofuels
EditorsC. A. Eckert, Cong T. Trinh
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780444595928
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-2700-66110


  • Bifunctional enzymes
  • Biofuels
  • Carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes)
  • Cell wall-anchored enzymes
  • Cellulases
  • Cellulosomes
  • Glycoside hydrolases


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