4 October 2016

Enzymes as a Resource


The Coldzyme project develops enzymes from microorganisms isolated from cold environments from all over the World, e.g. from Greenland, Alaska, Svalbard, Antarctica.

The ikaite columns in the Ikka Fjord in SW Greenland are permanently cold (4-6°C) and alkaline (above pH 10), and the microorganisms living there and their enzymes are adapted to these conditions. Only a small fraction of the microorganisms from ikaite columns can be cultivated in the laboratory. Consequently, we have combined screening methods and have investigated cultivated microorganisms, analysed DNA from uncultured microorganisms, and screened functional expression libraries comprising total DNA from ikaite columns.

Cold-active enzymes from Coldzymes may be used in novel industrial processes that are more

  • Economic, due to lower consumption of fossil fuel
  • Efficient, due to increased specific activity of cold-active enzymes
  • Hygieinic, because food spoilers do not grow at low temperatures

Coldzymes’ enzymes are developed in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Coldzymes recognizes the importance of disseminating results. Thus, we participate in education activities in high schools and universities. 

In the Ikka Fjord, the project has worked together with students from universities and high schools. In Kangerlussuaq, Coldzymes has been involved in summer schools for Greenlandic, Danish, and American high school students.