Projecttitel: Regulation of enzyme production in fungal cell factories – lignocellulosic breakdown in A. niger
Budget publiek: € 23.000
Budget privaat: € 4.000
Projectleider: Han Wösten
Betrokken partijen: MicroLife Solutions, Utrecht University
Fungi feed on organic material by secreting enzymes that degrade the organic polymers into breakdown products that can serve as nutrients. Some fungi secrete large amounts of enzymes. For instance, production strains of Aspergillus niger and Myceliophthora thermophila can secrete up to 100 grams of enzyme per litre culture broth. This property makes these fungi important cell factories for the production of enzymes that are used to convert lignocellulose into monomeric sugar which are further converted into e.g., biofuels by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, bioethanol production based on lignocellulosic feedstocks is still not good enough to be economically feasible. Therefore there is a need to further improve the expression of lignocellulosic breakdown enzymes in fungal strains to ultimately improve the yield of bioethanol production.
On way to improve the production of lignocellulosic breakdown enzymes is to enhance the expression of the genes encoding those enzymes. For this purpose we propose to study and identify the promoter-regulator interactions of these genes such that enhanced expression and production of lignocellulosic breakdown enzymes can be reached in fungi. Recently, 38 regulatory genes were identified that are differentially expressed in wild type A. Niger. The identification of the regulators and target genes of lignocellulosic breakdown are the key focus of the BE-Basic project “Regulation of enzyme production in fungal cell factories (FS10-001)”.
This TKI toeslag inzet project adds an additional work package to this project aimed at development and application of a DNA-binding reporter gene assay as a screening tool to search for promoters that interact with regulatory elements of the genes encoding lignocellulosic breakdown enzymes. This reporter system will be based on the yeast one-hybrid system, with adjustments.