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Biocatalysis in seawater: Investigating a halotolerant 𝝎-transaminase capable of converting furfural in a seawater reaction medium

The increasing demand for freshwater and the continued depletion of available resources has led to a deepening global water crisis.
Significant water consumption required by many biotechnological processes contributes to both the environmental and economic cost of this problem. Relatively few biocatalytic processes have been developed to utilise the more abundant supply of seawater, with seawater composition and salinity limiting its use with many mesophilic enzymes.
We recently reported a salt tolerant 𝜔-transaminase enzyme, Ad2-TAm, isolated from the genome of a halophilic bacterium, Halomonas sp. CSM-2, from a Triassic period salt mine. In this study we aimed to demonstrate its applicability to biocatalytic reactions carried out in a seawater-based medium.Ad2-TAmwas examined for its ability to aminate the industrially relevant substrate, furfural, in both seawater and freshwater-based reaction systems.
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