• Biodiversity For A better Tomorrow

    Enriching Lives with Breakthrough Innovations in Biodiversity
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017
  • Everything is chemistry!

    A public awareness talk by Associate Prof. Russell Barrow, Australian National University. Nothing is chemical free, not even the things that claim to be chemical free. Read More
    Everything Chemistry Updated
  • Public Awareness Talk

    by Dr Hendrik Luesch on Marine Biodiversity - A Starting Point for Drug Discovery and Development Read More
    Marine Biodiversity Updated
  • Our Latest Corporate Visit

    It was an honour to have His Excellency, Dr Makio Miyagawa, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia visit us today, while our partners from the indigenous communities are around for the annual Traditional Knowledge Documentation Workshop.
    Japan Ambassador
  • BioBorneo and Bioeconomy Day 2017

    Organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia (MOSTI), the Bioeconomy Corporation of Malaysia and supported by the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre was held on 9 May 2017.
    Bioborneo2017
  • LitSara® Highlight Events

    LitSara® Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Collaboration between Pullman Hotels, Interhill Group of Companies and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.
    LitSara CSR 2
  • Genus Distribution in Microalgae Library

    SBC has one of the best Algae Library from Borneo which was set up in a collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation. Contact us if you have an interest.
    Genus Distribution
  • The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak Visit to SBC

    Exchange of Collaboration Agreement Documents between Mitsubishi Corporation and the Sarawak Biodiversity Council Read More
    CmMCvisit
  • Our dedicated LitSara® website is now live!

    Check out http://www.litsara.com on this essential oil from a plant found in Sarawak and utilised by the indigenous communities. This website also features our online shop and we will continue to update and improve.
    LitsaraWebsite
  • Can you spot a mouse deer here?

    Check out our cam trap recordings and see what other suprises the forest around SBC has in store for us. Read More
    Trail Cams
  • Come hike with us on our Nature Trails

    These trails promote awareness in environmental education and conservation and also aimed at providing children, students and grown ups alike a learning and experiential jungle trek. Read More
    Nature Trail Sketch 1
  • Interested in purchasing the Silvestrol for research?

    Visit www.naturesara.com for more info.
    Silvestrol
  • The LitSara® Story

    The following video tells you how the five communities; the Bidayuh of Kampung Kiding, the Lun Bawang of Long Kerebangan, the Lun Bawang of Long Telingan, the Kelabit of Pa' Lungan and the Kelabit of Pa' Ukat work on the LitSara® project. Read More
    Litsarastory
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12 January 2017: Sarawak Biodiversity Regulations, 2016. Read More

15 May 2016: Educational Activities Featured at Biodiversity Day Event. Click here for more info.


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Meimeifeature
From left to right: Dr. David Pang, Vimal Kumar Balasubramaniam, Dr. Krishan M. Rai, Amrita Dhal, Cassie Welker, Dr. Venugopal Mendu.

I have been given the opportunity to attend a research training under Borlaug Fellowship Program at Texas Tech University (TTU), Lubbock, Texas, USA. Borlaug Fellowship Program was established by USDA in March 2004 to honor the Nobel Laureate Norman E. Borlaug. The purpose of the program is to help developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing scientific training and collaborative research opportunities. The program increases scientific knowledge and promotes long-term collaboration with universities, government agencies and research centers in USA.

The duration of my training program is 12 weeks, starting from 12th Jan till 4th April 2015. The objective of my training is to identify plant cell wall degrading enzymes and their use in biofuel production from soil bacteria. During my research training, I was assigned under the supervision of Dr. Venugopal Mendu. Dr. Mendu is an assistant professor in Texas Tech University’s Department of Plant & Soil Science. He is a research scientist who specializes in plant physiology and biochemistry. One of his laboratory's goal is to identify and characterize the genes involved in the plant cell wall biosynthesis using model plant Arabidopsis and apply for cotton fiber improvement.

During the program, I was trained in plant protein extraction, laccase enzyme zymography and 2D SDS-PAGE gel under the supervision of his graduate student, Vimal Kumar Balasubramaniam. Laccase are one of the lignin-degrading enzymes involving in depolymerazation lignin. The deconstruction of lignin can enhance the release of fermentable sugar from plant cell. The use of lignin-degrading enzymes in pretreatment could overcome the high cost in removing lignin from plant, thus produce environmentally friendly biofuel.

I am now in the progress of carrying out whole genome sequencing of bacteria species isolated from SBC. The analysis of the sequencing data will identify the novel plant cell wall degrading wall enzymes. End of the training, a manuscript about the work will be published under SBC and TTU authorship. A potential long term collaboration between SBC and TTU in future will be discussed following a visit by Dr. Mendu in Jan 2016.


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