Clostridium thermocellum is an anaerobic bacterium. It thrives at extremely high temperatures. And it has a remarkable ability to convert plant cellulose into ethanol, hydrogen and other chemical feedstocks, which is why researchers like J.H. David Wu, professor of Chemical Engineering and of Biomedical Engineering, are intensely interested in this bacterium’s potential for producing biofuels.
But there are some hurdles that need to be overcome, which was the subject of Wu’s plenary lecture at the 12th International Symposium on the Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms (GIM), held in June in Cancun, Mexico. The meeting, held every four years, is considered one of the most important in the field of fermentation technology. Wu delivered his lecture, entitled “Regulation of Cellulolytic Enzymes and Metabolic Pathways in Clostridium thermocellum,” to more than 1,000 attendees from around the world.