Biochemical and Regulatory Analyses of Xylanolytic Regulons in Caldicellulosiruptor bescii Reveal Genus-Wide Features of Hemicellulose Utilization

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Caldicellulosiruptor species scavenge carbohydrates from runoff containing plant biomass that enters hot springs and from grasses that grow in more moderate parts of thermal features. While only a few Caldicellulosiruptor species can degrade cellulose, all known species are hemicellulolytic. The most well-characterized species, Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, decentralizes its hemicellulase inventory across five different genomic loci and two isolated genes. Transcriptomic analyses, comparative genomics, and enzymatic characterization were utilized to assign functional roles and determine the relative importance of its six putative endoxylanases (five glycoside hydrolase family 10 [GH10] enzymes and one GH11 enzyme) and two putative exoxylanases (one GH39 and one GH3) in C. bescii. Two genus-wide conserved xylanases, C. bescii XynA (GH10) and C. bescii Xyl3A (GH3), had the highest levels of sugar release on oat spelt xylan, were in the top 10% of all genes transcribed by C. bescii, and were highly induced on xylan compared to cellulose. This indicates that a minimal set of enzymes are used to drive xylan degradation in the genus Caldicellulosiruptor, complemented by hemicellulolytic inventories that are tuned to specific forms of hemicellulose in available plant biomasses. To this point, synergism studies revealed that the pairing of specific GH family proteins (GH3, -11, and -39) with C. bescii GH10 proteins released more sugar in vitro than mixtures containing five different GH10 proteins. Overall, this work demonstrates the essential requirements for Caldicellulosiruptor to degrade various forms of xylan and the differences in species genomic inventories that are tuned for survival in unique biotopes with variable lignocellulosic substrates.

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology





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