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Development of fermentation processes for the production of xylan debranching enzymes at TU Delft

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25 July 2022

For large scale production of xylan debranching enzymes, suitable fermentation processes have to be developed and optimized. Within the Enxylascope project the Delft University of Technology will be involved in high throughput proteomics screening for enzyme discovery as well as model based development and optimisation of fermentation processes for enzyme production.

The Delft University of Technology (Dutch: Technische Universiteit Delft), also known as TU Delft, is the oldest and largest Dutch public technical university, located in Delft, Netherlands. As of 2022 it is ranked by QS World University Rankings among the top 10 engineering and technology universities in the world. In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, it was ranked 2nd in the world, after MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

With eight faculties (Aerospace Engineering, Applied Sciences, Architecture, Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Sciences, Industrial Design Engineering, Mechanical, Maritime & Materials Engineering and Technology Policy & Management) and numerous research institutes, it has more than 26,000 students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and 6,000 employees (teaching, research, support and management staff).

The university was established on 8 January 1842 by William II of the Netherlands as a Royal Academy, with the primary purpose of training civil servants for work in the Dutch East Indies. The school expanded its research and education curriculum over time, becoming a polytechnic school in 1864 and an institute of technology (making it a full-fledged university) in 1905. It changed its name to Delft University of Technology in 1986.

Dutch Nobel laureates Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, and Simon van der Meer have been associated with TU Delft. TU Delft is a member of several university federations, including the IDEA League, CESAER, UNITECH International, LDE (Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University), and 4TU.

 

Department of Biotechnology

The Department of Biotechnology is part of the faculty of Applied Sciences, together with the Departments of Bionanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Image Physics, Quantum Nanoscience, Radiation Science & Technology and Science Education & communication.

Innovation is crucial to fulfil the potential of industrial biotechnology for sustainable production of fuels, chemicals, materials, food and feed. Similarly, scientific and technological advances in environmental biotechnology are needed to enable novel approaches to water purification, and ‘waste-to-product’ processes thus contributing to a circular economy. Increased fundamental knowledge encompassing enzymes, microorganisms and processes are essential for progress in this field. The Department of Biotechnology covers this research area and, based on new insights, selects, designs and tests new bio-based catalysts, micro-organisms, and processes.

 

Role in the Enxylascope project

In Enxylascope we will work on the development of fermentation processes for the production of xylan debranching enzymes using different expression systems. To this end we will carry out dedicated and well defined laboratory experiments to elucidate the stoichiometry and kinetic properties of promising expression systems. The thus obtained information will form the basis for the construction of mathematical models, which will be used to design high productivity and high yield fermentation processes. Subsequently these processes will be tested and optimised in bench and pilot scale scale laboratory fermentors, prior to their implementation on large scale by one of the project partners. The fermentation process development will be supported by a range of metabolomic and proteomics studies.

In parallel to the fermentation process development we will develop and use high throughput proteomics screening approaches in support of the secondary screening efforts by SINTEF. Additionally, we will further develop and employ metaproteomics as orthogonal approach to metagenomic sequencing, in order to support candidate selection from novel microbial environments and enrichment cultures.

Walter van Gulik - Delft University of Technology

Martin Pabst - Delft University of Technology

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