Jieni Lian, Jinlyung Choi, Yee Shiean Tan, Adina Howe, Zhiyou Wen, Laura R. Jarboe
PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149336
Publication year: 2016


Approximately 100 million tons of anhydrosugars, such as levoglucosan and cellobiosan, are produced through biomass burning every year. These sugars are also produced through fast pyrolysis, the controlled thermal depolymerization of biomass. While the microbial pathways associated with levoglucosan utilization have been characterized, there is little known about cellobiosan utilization. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of six cellobiosan-utilizing microbes from soil samples. Each of these organisms is capable of using both cellobiosan and levoglucosan as sole carbon source, though both minimal and rich media cellobiosan supported significantly higher biomass production than levoglucosan. Ribosomal sequencing was used to identify the closest reported match for these organisms: Sphingobacterium multivorumAcinetobacter oleivorans JC3-1, Enterobacter sp SJZ-6, and Microbacterium sps FXJ8.207 and 203 and a fungal species Cryptococcus sp. The commercially-acquired Enterobacter cloacae DSM 16657 showed growth on levoglucosan and cellobiosan, supporting our isolate identification. Analysis of an existing database of 16S rRNA amplicons from Iowa soil samples confirmed the representation of our five bacterial isolates and four previously-reported levoglucosan-utilizing bacterial isolates in other soil samples and provided insight into their population distributions. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA of strains previously reported to utilize levoglucosan and our newfound isolates showed that the organisms isolated in this study are distinct from previously described anhydrosugar-utilizing microbial species.