Phosphate is a key element in many processes in the body and essential for global food production.
Phosphate is a key element in many processes in the body and essential for global food production. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have now developed a method to detect new enzymes from the environment that can release phosphate. This opens up new possibilities for the development and optimisation of phytase-based processes for industrial application, biotechnology and environmentally friendly technologies. The results were published in the scientific journal mBio.
Enzymes such as phytases and phosphatases are required to be able to use organically bound phosphate. The research group led by Professor Rolf Daniel from the Institute of Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Göttingen develops standardised methods to isolate novel phosphatases and phytases from complex environmental samples. "The phytases that are currently used commercially, originate from the cultivation of individual strains of microorganisms," says Daniel. “This wastes the potential to develop new, more effective processes through the use of improved enzymes.” Phosphates are used as fertilisers in large quantities in conventional agriculture. The increasing depletion of natural phosphorus resources and the pollution of phosphorus deposits with heavy metals make new strategies for the extraction and recycling of phosphates more urgent.
Read more at University of Göttingen
Photo: A scientist examines bacterial growth after phytase screening. CREDIT: G A Castillo Villamizar