Early-branching gut fungi possess a large comprehensive array of biomass-degrading enzymes

The fungal kingdom is the source of almost all industrial enzymes in use for lignocellulose bioprocessing. We developed a systems-level approach that integrates transcriptomic sequencing, proteomics, phenotype, and biochemical studies of relatively unexplored basal fungi. Anaerobic gut fungi isolated from herbivores produce a large array of biomass-degrading enzymes that synergistically degrade crude, untreated plant biomass and are competitive with optimized commercial preparations from Aspergillus and Trichoderma. Compared to these model platforms, gut fungal enzymes are unbiased in substrate preference due to a wealth of xylan-degrading enzymes. These enzymes are universally catabolite-repressed and are further regulated by a rich landscape of noncoding regulatory RNAs. Additionally, we identified several promising sequence-divergent enzyme candidates for lignocellulosic bioprocessing.

Solomon, K.V., Haitjema, C. H., Henske, J. K., Gilmore, S. P., Borges-Rivera, D., Lipzen, A., Brewer, H. M., Purvien, S. O., Wright, A. T., Theodorou, M. K., Grigoriev, I. V., Regev, A., Thompson, D. A. and O’Malley, M. A.
Science
Volume: 351
Number: 6278
Pages: 1192-1195
Date: March, 2016
ICB Affiliated Authors: Michelle A O'Malley