Next generation sequence data mining, expression and improvement of enzymes activities for lignocellulose degradation


In collaboration with our experimental partners Prof. Truong Nam Hai (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi) and Prof. Wolfgang Streit (University of Hamburg), we develop an innovative technology platform for identification of novel and useful enzymes from metagenomic samples. The platform will integrate next-generation sequencing of metagenomic samples, data mining by a metagenomics pipeline, high-throughput expression of candidate genes by cell-free protein synthesis, the recombinant production of promising enzymes, and their application. This platform will be applied to identify novel proteins for lignocellulose degradation and modification of cellulose. The proposed German-Vietnamese project is embedded into an international metagenomics network with collaborators from Italy, South Africa, and the United States.

This research project is funded by BMBF


  1. Zhang, H., Pérez-García, P., Dierkes, R., Danso, D., Pleiss, J., Almeida, A., Höcker, B., Schmitz-Streit, R., Chow, J., Streit, W., Applegate, V., Schumacher, J., Chibani, C., Sternagel, S., Preuss, L., Weigert, S., Schmeisser, C., Hallam, S., & Smits, S. (2022). The Bacteroidetes Aequorivita sp. and Kaistella jeonii produce promiscuous esterases with PET-hydrolyzing activity. Front Microbiol, 12, 803896.
  2. Orlando, M., Buchholz, P., Lotti, M., & Pleiss, J. (2021). The GH19 Engineering Database: sequence diversity, substrate scope, and evolution in glycoside hydrolase family 19. PLoS One, 16, e0256817.
  3. Lohoff, C., Buchholz, P., Le, R.-H. M., & Pleiss, J. (2021). The Expansin Engineering Database: a navigation and classification tool for expansins and homologues. Proteins, 89, 149–162.
  4. Buchholz, P., van, L. B., Eenink, B., Bornberg-Bauer, E., & Pleiss, J. (2021). Ancestral sequences of a large promiscuous enzyme family correspond to bridges in sequence space in a network representation. J R Soc Interface, 18, 20210389.
  5. Bauer, T., Buchholz, P., & Pleiss, J. (2020). The modular structure of α/β-hydrolases. FEBS J, 287, 1035–1053.

Project Members

This image shows Patrick Buchholz

Patrick Buchholz



This image shows Torsten Giess

Torsten Giess



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