Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes are key organisms in the degradation of wood, plant and animal material. Ascomycetes are less capable of rapid wood decay than basidiomycetes, but they are considered more important degraders of plant biomass in compromised environmental systems. As factors such as increasing soil temperatures impact the various processes that regulate life on the plant, researchers expect that the relative role of ascomycetes in carbon processing will increase. Understanding the role fungi play on carbon sequestration thus becomes crucial to understanding carbon-induced climate change. To learn more about the rates, mechanisms, and regulation of lignocellulose degradation by ascomycetes, this project focuses on identifying the pathways for carbon degradation in a diverse group of ascomycete fungi. The end goal is to have molecular-level framework which researchers can then build upon to predict ecosystem processing.
Proposer’s Name: Colleen Hansel