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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 814, 2022, 152773

Biotechnological potential of rumen microbiota for sustainable bioconversion of lignocellulosic waste to biofuels and value-added products

Sachin Krushna Bhujbala, Pooja Ghosha, Virendra Kumar Vijaya, Rashmi Rathourb

Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi 110016, India.


Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant resource with untapped potential for biofuel, enzymes, and chemical production. Its complex recalcitrant structure obstructs its bioconversion into biofuels and other value-added products. For improving its bioconversion efficiency, it is important to deconstruct its complex structure. In natural systems like rumen, diverse microbial communities carry out hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis of lignocellulosic biomass through physical penetration, synergistic and enzymatic actions enhancing lignocellulose degradation activity. This review article aims to discuss comprehensively the rumen microbial ecosystem, their interactions, enzyme production, and applications for efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic waste to biofuels. Furthermore, meta ‘omics’ approaches to elucidate the structure and functions of rumen microorganisms, fermentation mechanisms, microbe-microbe interactions, and host-microbe interactions have been discussed thoroughly. Additionally, feed additives' role in improving ruminal fermentation efficiency and reducing environmental nitrogen losses has been discussed. Finally, the current status of rumen microbiota applications and future perspectives for the development of rumen mimic bioreactors for efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic wastes to biofuels and chemicals have been highlighted.

Keywords: Rumen microbiota, Lignocellulosic waste, Biodegradation, Biofuel and chemicals, Omics.

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