We are in the process of developing a biorefinery concept for the use of selected plant biomasses for production of high value biochemicals aiming at replacing chemicals produced from fossil fuels. One aspect will be the engineering of efficient biomass converting fungal strains with the ability to produce high amounts of specific organic acids. Aspergillus niger producing citric acid is a classical example of industrial application of fermentative processes in a filamentous fungal strain. We would like to utilise both the large potential for secretion of hydrolytic enzymes and the organic acid producing machinery of the filamentous fungi for further genetic engineering. We anticipate to initiate the engineering by manipulating central pathways in carbon metabolism i.e. glycolysis to increase the funnelling of sugars to acid production. By initial screening of a large collection of fungal strains isolated from natural habitats we have identified isolates with high production and excretion of organic acids. Among these are several Aspergillus species and one Penicillium sp. with higher excretion of TCA-cycle intermediates, and these strains have been chosen for genetic engineering.
Full conference title:
10th EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON FUNGAL GENETICS
- ECFG 10th (2010)