Project: MARIKAT - New catalytic enzymes and enzymatic processes from the marine microbiome for refining marine seaweed biomass

Acronym MARIKAT (Reference Number: 127)
Duration 01/07/2020 - 30/06/2023
Project Topic The technological objective of MARIKAT is to unlock the potential of microbiomes in providing tools for emerging biorefineries of Europe to establish an unique marine bioresource, seaweed polysaccharides as a feedstock. Enzymatic refining of macroalgal polysaccharides to added value products on industrial scale is near to non-existent today - robust enzymatic tools are lacking. MARIKAT entails retrieval, evaluation and industrial development of enzymes identified in novel marine microbial genomes and metagenomes. Enzymes will be developed for different steps of a biorfinery seaweed value chain, from enzyme aided fractionation of the biomass, to conversion of different components to value added derivatives. Besides carbohydrate active degrading enzymes various auxiliary enzymes will be targeted e.g. enzymes for removing or changing substituent patterns of polysaccharides, e.g. sulfatases for de-sulphating recalcitrant polysaccharides; and modifying enzymes such as transglucosidases that can add sugar moieties to different oligo-saccharides and aglycones. MARIKAT will provide enzymes and expand the range products that can be derived from seaweed to include added value products such as highly bioactive oligosaccharides, rare sugars, novel polyphenol derivatives and food grade surfactants from seaweeds. Advanced methods will be used to define the structural determinants of bioactivity in various enzymatic products, and the applicative potential of enzymes in modification and synthesis of synthetic pharmaceutical oligosaccharides will be valuated. The targeted markets are food (specifically the food beverage and the health food markets); pharma and the skin-care industry. The developed enzymes and enzymatic processes will be introduced to the market through commercial channels within the consortium, partners networks as well as through outreach and dissemination to stakeholders and potential third-party collaborators and clients.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
At the end of the project it is expected that development of efficient biocatalytic production is well under way, and at least 2 out of three processes targeted have reached technological readiness of 5, validated in relevant industrial environment with high prospects of industrial application, and suitable for pilot scale production. Additionally, several enzymes will have been evaluated for targeted technological readiness of 3-4 in biorefinery processes. Furthermore, (meta)genomic libraries containing genes/enzymes from a novel extremophilic biota, annotated specifically using the CUPP (DTU, LLa), is expected to be a rich source of robust enzymes (TRL 3) for processing seaweed polysaccharides in forthcoming projects and for the future developments of the marine biorefinery. SOPs (standard operating protocols) will be available for production of different enzymes and bioprocesses developed in the project and an exploitation plan made to help interest groups and stakeholders to evaluate their potential. The expected outcome is expected to help to make the biorefinery platform based on 3rd generation biomass a sustainable and economically feasible alternative to petroleum refineries and 1st generation biorefinery platform by supplying missing links in the value chain from seaweed to products, - the biorefining links.
Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 MATIS Biotech Coordinator Iceland
2 Technical University of Denmark Partner Denmark
3 Lund University Partner Sweden
4 Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) Partner Greece
5 University of Crete (UOC) Partner Greece
6 LLa - Bioeconomy -SME Partner Denmark
7 Enza Biotech AB (ENZA) (External contributor) Partner Sweden
8 Ocean Rainforest (ORF) (External contributor) Partner Faroe Islands
9 University of Utrecht(Subcontractor) Partner Netherlands
10 AVENTURE (AVENT) (External contributor) Partner Sweden