Institutes and centres:

Marine wood borer enzyme discovery

Sustainable liquid biofuels can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass such as wood and straw. These materials contain polysaccharides (polymers of sugars) that can be converted into simple sugars which can be fermented to produce liquid biofuels. Currently we lack effective enzymes to digest these woody materials. However, marine wood borers are voracious consumers of lignocellulose and have all the enzymes needed for its digestion.

Aims and objectives

We have already sequenced the genes that are expressed in the marine wood borer gut and which encode the digestive enzymes. We will study the digestive process in borers and investigate industrial applications for their enzymes in biofuel production.

Image: BBSRC

Key resources and technologies

Programme lead

Associated programme members

External contact

Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, BSBEC Marine Wood Borer Enzyme, The University of York


Tel: +44 (0)1904 434318