The HotZyme project

There is a strong need for new thermostable hydrolases with appropriate performance and/or novel functionalities that could provide huge savings in time, money and energy for industrial processes. The HotZyme project aims to identify such enzymes from hot terrestial environments, using metagenomic screening methods. New bioinfomatic tools will be developed to facilitate function prediction of genes from metagenomes that show low or no sequence homology to enzymes of known function. A range of high-throughput screening technologies will be employed to identify novel hydrolases.

The consortium is composed of 13 partners from 10 European countries plus one partner from USA. The strong expertise in Microbiology, Moleculary Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Geochemistry, Nanotechnology and Bioinformatics from our partners will be integrated in the project to ensure the fulfilment of the proposed tasks. Importantly, the five industrial partners, including three SMEs, will seek to commercialize the project results, thus ensuring a European wide impact, post project.

Introduction to the implementation plan

Our main focus is metagenomic screening of novel thermostable hydrolases that will have the potential to improve and/or innovate biotechnological processes. To achieve these goals, this Work Plan includes the following general activities:

  1. Obtaining very extensive and diverse microbial data,
  2. Developing advanced bioinformatic tools to analyse and handle the data,
  3. Metagenomic screening for high value hydrolases
  4. Social-economical impact and implications
  5. Dissemination and exploitation

The Work Plan is broken down into work packages (WP) that are partially or totally interdependent. The structure of the WP organization (see diagram below) reflects the complementarity of the approaches and of the expertise of the individual partners. The tight integration of individual partner contributions and activities is crucial to the successful completion of the project.

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