Anaerobic fungi can break down plant mass and are best studied from the digestive tract of ruminants. During their life cycles, the fungal zoospores recognize and swim toward ingested plant matter and attach to its surface before penetrating the plant cells. In this way, fibrous lignocellulose rich substrates can be mechanically degraded. In addition to mechanical degradation, anaerobic fungi are the only eukaryotic fungi known to produce cellulosomes. They can express a plethora of cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic enzymes which are combined in these multienzyme complexes. These two features, the mechanical degradation combined with a highly efficient unique enzyme system, make anaerobic fungi potential candidates to improve the use of fiber-rich substrates for biogas and biofuel production Knowing how fungal cellulosomes are composed would improve screening methods for unique effective lignocellulolytic or xylanolytic effective enzymes . The understanding of cellulosomal gene expression could promote the search for suitable expression strains for recombinant enzyme production.
Proposer’s Name: Veronika Dollhofer, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (Germany)