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Cellular regulation of enzyme production in filamentous fungi

Grant number: 15/18829-7
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: July 26, 2016 - November 04, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Henrique Goldman
Grantee:Gustavo Henrique Goldman
Visiting researcher: Steven D. Harris
Visiting researcher institution: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), United States
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The efficient production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass is limited by the cost of fungal enzymes needed to liberate simple fermentable sugars from plant material. Our proposed project seeks to reduce these costs by exploring new avenues to increasing the yields of hydrolytic enzymes such as cellulases, glucanases, xylanases, and amylases from filamentous fungi. We will achieve this by leveraging the robust power of unbiased genetic screens in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans to uncover novel regulatory functions and morphogenetic pathways that control enzyme production. Mutants will be characterized for enzyme expression, activity, and localization to identify genotypes that exhibit the greatest promise for enhancing overall yields. Our approach will take advantage of the complementary expertise of Profs. Harris and Goldman, whose labs have a long history of productive interaction and collaboration. Ultimately, results from this project will greatly facilitate the design and construction of fungal strains with increased enzyme yields, which will lower input costs and thereby maintain the competitiveness of cellulosic ethanol as a biofuel. (AU)