The study of lignocellulose degradation is an important field of research due to its possible application in biofuel production. Fungi, specifically the Agaricomycetes, are notably good at breaking down the polymers in wood into simple sugars. To date, over 75 genomes of Agaricomycetes have been sequenced, predominantly by the DOE JGI. However, much remains to be learned about how wood-decayers break down the tough fibers present in wood. To study wood degradation in more detail, the team plans to use Schizophyllum commune, the genetic model system for wood-decayers, while also making other white rot fungi more genetically accessible in an effort to add phylogenetic and lifestyle diversity.
Proposer’s Name: Han Wosten, Utrecht University (Netherlands)