Syed Shams Yazdani

Group Leader,
Microbial Engineering
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
ICGEB Campus
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi, India
E-mail: [email protected] 
Tel: +91-11-26742357 ext 460

Facilities:
DBT-ICGEB Advanced Energy Research

Education

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, PhD (Biotechnology), 2000
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, MSc (Biotechnology), 1994
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India, BSc (Hons) Chemistry, 1992

Career History

Since 2015, Group Leader, Microbial Engineering Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) New Delhi, India
Since 2012, Coordinator, DBT-ICGEB Advanced Bioenergy Research, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, India 
2011-2015, Group Leader, Synthetic Biology and Biofuel Group, ICGEB, New Delhi
2007-2008, Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University, Houston, USA
2003-2010, Staff Research Scientist, Malaria Group, ICGEB, New Delhi
1999-2003, Research Scientist, Malaria Group, ICGEB, New Delhi

Teaching Activity

Tutoring activities in the ICGEB PhD programme
Since 2016 – Teaching ‘Microbial Genome Editing and Engineering’ as part of ‘Synthetic and Systems Biology’ Course
Since 2011 – Teaching ‘Large-Scale production and Purification of Gene Products’ as part of ‘Gene Cloning and Expression’ Course
2005-2009 – Taught ‘Metabolic Engineering’ as part of ‘Cellular and Molecular Biology’ Course.

Scientific Activity

Recent interest towards shifting to non-food-based feedstock for biofuel production, in addition to biomass burning issue, has resulted in exploiting agricultural residues as feedstock. However, recalcitrant nature of this biomass makes it extremely difficult to hydrolyze into fermentable sugar. The filamentous fungi are found to be efficient in carbon cycling in nature, and thus are treated as potential sources of enzymes for converting recalcitrant lignocellulosic biomass into precursors for industrial purpose. We use intense mathematical model based screen to identify fungal isolates whose secretome can degrade biomass more efficiently than commercial cellulase formulation. Several enzymes have been characterized and among them cellobiohydrolases of the glycoside hydrolase family 7 (CBH1), was found to be the most important cellulolytic enzymes for crystalline cellulose breakdown. CBH1 of a new fungal isolate exhibited 6-fold higher catalytic efficiency as well as a 26-fold higher enzyme-inhibitor complex equilibrium dissociation constant (Ki) than the one from Trichoderma reesei. We have performed genome engineering of the new fungal isolate to disrupt its catabolite repressor and overexpress the cellulase gene activator to enhance the enzyme production by several folds. Many leads have been obtained to understand the role of several unannotated transcription factors involved in the cellulase production via transcriptomic and proteomic studies, which are being valorized to construct superior biocatalyst. 

Lignocellulosic biomass consists of ~30% of pentose sugars, and therefore its effective fermentation will certainly have a positive impact on the economy of biofuel production. The traditional yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is unable to ferment pentose sugars into ethanol. E. coli is a robust host for various genetic manipulations and can readily consume both hexose and pentose sugars. However, availability of limited reducing equivalence and generation of competing co-products undermine ethanol yield and productivity in this microbe. In our lab, we have constructed an E. coli strain to produce high yield of ethanol from hexose and pentose sugars by modulating endogenous pathway without the need of foreign genes. We further worked towards formation of more energy dense fuel molecules, such as butanol, hexanol, pentadecane and hexadecene. Butanol was made in E. coli by integrating Clostridial pathway in its genome via CRISPR/Cas9 technique. On the other hand, long chain alkanes and alcohols are being made via metabolic model-assisted engineering of E. coli, with the highest titers reported so far.

See related news item on research concerning Biofuels

Selected publications

Yazdani SS on PubMed

Syed Shams Yazdani on GoogleScholar

Abdelaal AS, Yazdani SS. A genetic toolkit for co-expression of multiple proteins of diverse physiological implications. Biotechnology Reports. 2021 Dec 3:e00692

Ogunyewo OA, Upadhyay P, Rajacharya GH, Okereke OE, Faas L, Gómez LD, McQueen-Mason SJ, Yazdani SS. Accessory enzymes of hypercellulolytic Penicillium funiculosum facilitate complete saccharification of sugarcane bagasse. Biotechnology for biofuels. 2021 Aug 26;14(1):171.

Randhawa A, Pasari N, Sinha T, Gupta M, Nair AM, Ogunyewo OA, Verma S, Verma PK, Yazdani SS. Blocking drug efflux mechanisms facilitate genome engineering process in hypercellulolytic fungus, Penicillium funiculosumNCIM1228. Biotechnology for biofuels. 2021 Dec;14(1):31.

Jilani SB, Prasad R, Yazdani SS. Overexpression of Oxidoreductase YghA Confers Tolerance of Furfural in Ethanologenic Escherichia coli Strain SSK42. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2021 Nov 10;87(23) :e01855-21

Ogunyewo OA, Randhawa A, Gupta M, Kaladhar VC, Verma PK, Yazdani SS. Synergistic Action of a Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenase and a Cellobiohydrolase from Penicillium funiculosum in Cellulose Saccharification Under High Substrate Loading. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2020 Sep 25:AEM.01769-20.

Jawed K, Abdelaal AS, Koffas MAG, Yazdani SS. Improved Butanol Production Using FASII Pathway in E. coliACS Synthetic Biology2020; 9(9):2390-2398

Jilani SB, Dev C, Eqbal D, Jawed K, Prasad R, Yazdani SS. Deletion of pgi gene in E. coli increases tolerance to furfural and 5-hydroxymethyl furfural in media containing glucose-xylose mixture. Microb Cell Fact. 2020 Jul 28;19(1):153.

Abdelaal AS, Jawed K, Yazdani SS. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated engineering of Escherichia coli for n-butanol production from xylose in defined medium. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019 July 1; 46(7):965-975

Shakeel T, Gupta M, Fatma Z, Kumar R, Kumar R, Singh R, Sharma M, Jade D, Gupta D, Fatma T, Yazdani SS. A consensus-guided approach yields a heat-stable alkane-producing enzyme and identifies residues promoting thermostabilityJournal of Biological Chemistry 2018; 293(24):9148-9161.

Fatma Z, Hartman H, Poolman M, Fell D, Srivastava S, Shakeel T, Yazdani SS. Model-assisted metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for long chain alkane and alcohol production. Metabolic Engineering 2018; 46:1-12.

Patents

Yazdani SS,  Olusola A. Ogunyewo , Randhawa A, Gupta M. 2021. Enzyme Overexpression for Optimized Lignocellulosic Degradation.PCT filed Granted Patent No.: PCT/IB2021/052791

Yazdani, S.S., Funso, E. 2020. A method for obtaining a composition for biomass hydrolysis. US Patent Application No.: US10526593B2

Yazdani, S.S., Fatma, Z. 2019. CRISPR/CAS9 mediated engineering of Escherichia coli strains for n-butanol production from xylose and glucose in defined medium”
Indian Patent Application No. 4201911014864

Yazdani, S.S., Munjal, N., Mattam, A.J. 2017. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. US, Chinese and Indian Patent GrantedNo: US9631206B2; CN104838005B

Yazdani SS,  Barse B, Randhawa A. 2017. Fungal Strain With Impaired Catabolite Repression for Lignocellulosic Degradation. Indian Patent Application 201711019184

Yazdani SS, Jilani SB. 2017. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. Indian Patent Application 201713033293

Yazdani, S.S., Munjal, N., Mattam, A.J. . 2017. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. Patent Granted: US9631206B2

Yazdani, S.S., Munjal, N., Mattam, A.J. . 2017. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. Patent Granted: US9631206B2

Yazdani, S.S., Munjal, N., Mattam, A.J. 2017. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. Patent Granted: CN104838005B

Yazdani SS, Fatma, Z. 2015. Method for enhanced fatty alcohol production in E. coli. Indian Patent Application 4260/DEL/2015

Yazdani SS, Funso E. 2015.A method for obtaining a composition for biomass hydrolysis. Indian Patent Application 1714/DEL/2015

Yazdani, S.S.,  Mattam, A.J. . 2013. Engineering E. coli strain for conversion of short chain fatty acids to bio alcohols. Indian Patent No. 348311

Yazdani, S.S., Munjal, N., Mattam, A.J. 2012. Modified bacteria for the production of bioalcohols. Indian Patent No. 367721

Yazdani SS, Adlakha N.. 2010. Plant cell wall hydrolyzing enzymes from insect mid-gut bacterium. Indian Patent Application 2071/DEL/2010