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University of Copenhagen
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PhD thesis defense

Malene Billeskov Keller, IGN, defends her thesis at the Section for Forest, Nature and Biomass

PhD thesis defense — Malene Billeskov Keller 14 June at 13:00


Date & Time:


Hosted by:
Section for Forest, Nature and Biomass, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C


Malene Billeskov Keller defends her thesis,

Fungal Cellulolytic Enzymes
Investigations of the cooperation between glycoside hydrolases and a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase


Professor Lisbeth Garbrecht Thygesen, IGN
Assistant Professor Benedikt M. Blossom, IGN
Professor Peter Westh, DTU

Assessment Committee:
Associate Professor Mirjam Kabel, Wageningen University – The Netherlands
Professor Birte Svensson, DTU
Professor Poul Erik Jensen (Chair), FOOD – UCPH

Cellulose is the most abundant renewable biological resource in the world. It is a primary cell wall component of plants and is composed exclusively of glucose. This makes it a promising source of energy. However, it is highly recalcitrant and thus underexploited.
Some fungi degrade cellulose by secreting several enzymes, which accelerate the degradation process. These enzymes are used in industry to convert cellulose from, for example, agricultural waste to fuels and chemicals. These products are “green” sustainable alternatives to oil-based products.
For these products to compete with oil-based products, the cost-efficiency of the process needs to be optimized. This includes optimization of the cocktail of enzymes. Traditionally, these cocktails primarily consisted of hydrolytic enzymes. However, a significant step forward in developing more efficient cocktails has been implementing a class of oxidative enzymes, lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, LPMOs. These enzymes improve the efficiency of the traditional cocktails and have thus attracted much attention in industry and academia. However, how LPMOs affect the activity of the individual components of the cocktails is poorly understood.
The thesis explores the cooperation between an LPMO and some of the most prevalent classes of hydrolytic enzymes in industrial cocktails for degrading cellulose, as insight into this aspect may be relevant for optimizing enzyme cocktails in the future.

A digital version of the PhD thesis can be obtained from the PhD secretary Anne Marie Faldt