protects from ultraviolet radiation and the attack of microorganisms, and waterproofs the vessels allowing the transport of water, nutrients and mineral salts. The chemical and structural properties responsible for these functions are also the reason that lignin is very difficult to break down. “The knowledge of this enzymatic process has a clear applied interest since the elimination and modification of lignin is a key step for the use of vegetable biomass as a renewable raw material in the production of chemical compounds, materials and fuels in order to implement a sustainable bioeconomy “, comments the researcher. The first organisms capable of degrading lignin emerged in the late Carboniferous (about 300 million years ago). The evolution of enzymes that were not originally designed for this function allowed a group of fungi to carry out the process. “

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In this way, the carbon accumulated in the plants through photosynthesis began to be recycled in a way never seen before. As a consequence of this fact, the first ligninolytic South Africa Email List enzymes could have contributed to the decrease in the accumulation of carbon, whose origin is plant biomass, which occurred at the end of this geological period ”, comments the researcher. This study identifies these evolutionary changes using a paleogenetic approach. Using computational methods, in combination with results from previous studies, the researchers reconstructed the amino acid sequences of the ancestral enzymes of different evolutionary pathways in which the most efficient ligninolytic peroxidases that exist today have emerged. From these computer-reconstructed sequences, they designed synthetic genes and subsequently ‘resuscitated’ the enzymes in the laboratory.

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“The result of the analysis of these enzymes has allowed us to identify the keys that led to the appearance, more than once in different evolutionary lines, of the most efficient lignin degradation mechanism that has ever existed. In short, we have shown that evolution has been able to develop the same tools several times independently to carry out a fundamental process in nature ”, concludes Ruiz Dueñas.Seahorses ( Hippocampus spp.) Are fish but their ability to swim is limited. They are unmistakable for their upright posture. They live in all the seas of the world and the underwater meadows are their favorite place. It is the males who take care of the eggs and the young. The Ichthyology Collection of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) preserves valuable specimens from the 19th century. Very few people have seen them in their natural habitat, but everyone knows them.

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