Terpenoids are one of five families of hydrocarbons produced by fungi that are of interest to bioenergy researchers either as biofuels or biofuel precursors. Terpenoids such as hydrogenated bisabolene have been suggested as a viable alternative to D2 and biodiesel fuels. These compounds hold promise as a renewable source of microbially synthesized biofuels. To remedy the lack of knowledge about the cellular location of terpenoid biosynthetic pathways, this project focuses on characterizing the content and biogenesis of terpenoid assembly organelles (TAO) in the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum, a plant pathogen commonly found on cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rice. The information gleaned from the project is expected to help produce terpenoids in filamentous fungi more efficiently and in larger yields.
Proposer’s Name: Harold Kistler