Current R&D/S&T Activities
We have successfully isolated and identified diverse bacteria having ability to biodegrade the persistent toxicants viz., chlorinated pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The metabolites of the degradative pathway and chemical intermediates formed were also characterized. Specifically, the current focus of my laboratory includes characterization of the bacteria and enzymes for the biodegradation of chlorinated pesticides and application of protein engineering for generation of novel enzymes and to identify and characterize biosurfactants from isolated strains. Modern tools for enzyme discovery and protein engineering substantially broadened the number of enzymes applicable for biocatalysis and helped to alter their properties such as substrate range, enantio-selectivity, and stability. In addition, these methods also enabled to explore reactions for biodegradation. Degradative enzymes like Hydroxylases, Dehalogenases and Oxygenase will be our target enzymes for cloning and characterization.
Identification of new biocatalysts by screening, e.g. from already available bacterial collections in our lab.
In silico discovery of novel enzymes
Cloning and expression into suitable microbial hosts
Creation of tailor-made enzymes using directed (molecular) evolution and rational protein design
Characterization of genes involved in biosurfactant synthesis for enhanced degradation.
1. Protein engineering and novel enzyme discovery for biodegradation.
2. Biodegradation of chlorinated toxicants and identification of surfactant producing genes.