Co-cultivation of the anaerobic fungus Anaeromyces robustus with Methanobacterium bryantii enhances transcription of carbohydrate active enzymes


Anaerobic gut fungi are biomass degraders that form syntrophic associations with other microbes in their native rumen environment. Here, RNA-Seq was used to track and quantify carbohydrate active enzyme (CAZyme) transcription in a syn- thetic consortium composed of the anaerobic fungus Anaeromyces robustus with methanogen Methanobacterium bryantii. Approximately 5% of total A. robustus genes were differentially regulated in co-culture with M. bryantii relative to cultivation of A. robustus alone. We found that 105 CAZymes (12% of the total predicted CAZymes of A. robustus) were upregulated while 29 were downregulated. Upregulated genes encode putative proteins with a wide array of cellulolytic, xylanolytic, and carbohydrate transport activities; 75% were fused to fungal dockerin domains, associated with a carbohydrate binding mod- ule, or both. Collectively, this analysis suggests that co-culture of A. robustus with M. bryantii remodels the transcriptional landscape of CAZymes and associated metabolic pathways in the fungus to aid in lignocellulose breakdown.

ICB Affiliated Authors

Candice L. Swift, Jennifer L. Brown, Susanna Seppälä, Michelle O’Malley
Peer-Reviewed Article
Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology