Miguel Castaneda-Renteria

UC Santa Barbara
Chemical Engineering

Kinetically Charaterizing Enzymes Found in Anaerobic Fungi

Fungi and the enzymes they produce play an important role in decomposing biomass into valuable chemicals, allowing us to improve sustainability and reduce petroleum dependence. Anaerobic fungi found in the digestive system of large herbivores remain understudied. Kinetically characterizing enzyme efforts allow us to realize the full potential of these fungi and their enzymes in biomass degradation and refining.

My project will characterize the catalytic specificity and efficiency of enzymes that are produced by the fungi. There are hundreds of enzymes to characterize, and I hypothesize that some are efficient enough for use in plant biomass deconstruction and eventual biorefinery deployment.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute