Algae are considered as third-generation biomass, and alginate is the main component of brown macroalgae. Alginate can be enzymatically depolymerized by alginate lyases into uronate monomers, such as mannuronic acid and guluronic acid, which are further nonenzymatically converted to 4-deoxy-L-erythro-5-hexoseulose uronic acid (DEH). We have optimized an enzymatic saccharification process using two recombinant alginate lyases, endo-type Alg7D and exo-type Alg17C, for the efficient production of DEH from alginate. When comparing the sequential and simultaneous additions of Alg7D and Alg17C, it was found that the final yield of DEH was significantly higher when the enzymes were added sequentially. The progress of saccharification reactions and production of DEH were verified by thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. Our results showed that the two recombinant enzymes could be exploited for the efficient production of DEH that is the key substrate for producing biofuels from brown macro algal biomass.
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