Biocatalyst for Commercial Production of Plant-based Nutraceuticals

Technology #14808

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James F. Preston III
Managed By
John Byatt
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending 2016-0289719-A1

Enables cell-based production of xylooligosaccharides for manufacture of biologicals to promote heath in humans and animals

This new biocatalyst breaks down xylan, a plant-based polysaccharide, into molecules that are used as a pharmaceutical and also may have anti-inflammatory nutraceutical applications. Researchers at the University of Florida developed the biocatalyst, a strain of Bacillus subtilis, to convert xylan molecules into neutral xylooligosaccharides (XOS) and acidic oligosaccharides (UXOS) for production of immunomodulating agents like Pentosan Polysulfate (PPS). The new strain of B. subtilis was created without genetic engineering and can be used in large-scale commercial applications. PPS derived from UXOS has applications in the treatment of interstitial cystitis in humans and osteoarthritis in dogs, horses and other animals.


A biocatalyst for the commercial production of nutraceuticals, and PPS that may be used for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, osteoarthritis and some other inflammatory joint diseases


  • B. subtilis is a “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) organism, providing increased assurance of safety for products intended for human ingestion
  • Easily modified to make selected products from plant polysaccharides, creating greater opportunities for manufacturers
  • Requires fewer resources than existing technologies, lowering costs and raising efficiency


University of Florida researchers developed a strain of B. subtilis that functions as a biocatalyst for producing neutral and acidic oligosaccharides. They created the strain by deleting specific genes from a starting organism. It works by depolymerizing xylans (xylose-containing polysaccharides derived from agricultural crops) and converting them into oligosaccharide products.