Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Enzymes Boost Alcohol Production

What do ethanol, baked goods and beer have in common? These products, and the industries that make them, are among the latest beneficiaries of studies conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

ARS plant physiologist Cynthia Henson and colleagues in the agency's Cereal Crops Research Unit at Madison, Wis., have designed three heat-loving barley enzymes that perform exceptionally well at temperatures hovering above 70 degrees Celsius, or about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks to their distinctive heat tolerance, these barley enzymes can yield up to 30 percent more sugar than enzymes found in conventional barley lines.

More sugar means more fermentable product for brewing beer--and more sugar for converting into ethanol-based fuels.A premium barley line is not only great news for industry, it's also a boon to the nation's barley growers, who earn up to a dollar more per bushel for top-of-the-line barley varieties suited for ethanol and beer production.

Today's barley enzymes become severely sluggish when they're thrust into superheated temperatures. But while the heat dulls the enzymes' catalyzing abilities, it is a necessary evil.

It's vital for loosening up the barley's starches and readying them for conversion into sugar.For example, at high temperatures, alpha-glucosidase--one of the most important barley enzymes for turning starches into fermentable sugars during beer-making--has less than 5 percent of the activity it normally would.

Hopefully, that's about to change. With Henson's discovery, barley plants containing the new-and-improved enzymes may only be a couple of years away.

The enzymes weren't developed for breeding into current barley plants. Instead, the researchers are using them as a search tool to scan vast collections of barley plants for accessions already possessing the desirable enzymes.

With so much genetic diversity to sift through and mine, Henson says it's probable that the impressive heat-tolerant enzymes are out there. They just need to be discovered.

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AGRI-INFO/SEPTEMBER 17, 2006


TITLE: NEW ENZYMES BOOST ALCOHOL PRODUCTION


ALAM BA NINYO NA NATUKLASAN NG MGA EKSPERTO ANG BAGONG ENZYMES NA MAKAPAGPAPATAAS SA PRODUKSIYON NG ALCOHOL?

DINESENYO NG ISANG GRUPO NG MGA SIYENTISTA NG ARS CEREAL CROPS RESEARCH UNIT SA PANGUNGUNA NI PLANT PHYSIOLOGIST CYNTHIA HENSON ANG TATLONG BARLEY ENZYMES NA NAKATATAGAL SA MAS MATAAS NA TEMPERATURA NANG MAHIGIT SA 70 DEGREES CENTIGRADE O 160 DEGREED FAHRENHEIT.

DAHIL SA KANILANG HEAT TOLERANCE, ANG BARLEY ENZYMES AY MERONG KAKAYANANG MAGKAROON NG MAS MATAAS NA ASUKAL NG 30 PERCENT KESA SA MGA ENZYME MULA SA KARANIWANG BARLEY LINES.

ANG MAS MARAMING ASUKAL AY NANGANGAHULUGAN NG MAS MAGANDANG FERMENTABLE PRODUCT PARA SA PAGGAWA NG BEER AT MAS MARAMI RING ASUKAL PARA SA CONVERSION BILANG ETHANOL FUELS.

SA NGAYON, MAITUTURING NA MAINAM NA PAGKAKITAAN ANG PAGTATANIM NG BARLEY DAHIL SA KARANIWAN NA ITONG IN DEMAND NGAYON PARA SA ETHANOL AT BEER PRODUCTION.

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