Sporanaerobium hydrogeniformans

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Recently, researchers found a new genus of anaerobic lignocellulose-degrading bacteria in the hot spring of Aravali, located in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

About Sporanaerobium hydrogeniformans

  • It is part of the Lachnospiraceae family, whose members are known as the most effective polysaccharide degraders due to their capacity to synthesise free or complicated hydrolytic enzymes.
  • The structural elements of lignocellulosic agricultural wastes, cellulose and xylan, can be broken down by this bacterium.
  • It can grow optimally at high temperatures of 45–50°C and an alkaline pH of 8.0.
  • The bacteria may be a candidate for biohydrogen generation from agricultural leftovers in accordance with waste-to-energy legislation in India.
  • The scientists found that the bacterium used the hexose and pentose sugars released during the hydrolysis of complex polymers like cellulose and xylan to make large amounts of hydrogen gas and byproducts including acetic acid, formic acid, and ethanol.
  • It is known that very few bacteria can use the sugars hexose and pentose at the same time.
  • Due to this characteristic, the bacterium is a crucial strain for the industrial generation of biofuels.
  • These new bacteria possess a special metabolic route for converting a variety of simple and complex substrates into hydrogen and ethanol.
  • Additionally, it emphasises the value of researching microbes in hostile habitats like hot springs, where rare and important species might be found.

Q1) What is Ethanol?

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a type of alcohol that is commonly used in various industrial, medical, and recreational applications. It has the chemical formula C2H5OH. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a slightly sweet odor and taste.

Source: A new genus of anaerobic lignocellulose-degrading bacteria with hydrogen production capability found in a hot spring from Maharashtra