Fungus Genome Teaches us How to Make Better Biofuels

Fungus Tricoderma reesei image

Tricoderma reesei, pictured above, is a fungus that loves to eat military uniforms and canvas tents (it bacame famous in the South Pacific during World War 2), among other things. Nature Biotechnology published a paper by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute scientists that claim progress in understanding how this organism breaks down plant fibers into simple sugars.

This has implications for the production of biofuels from cellulose. "On an industrial scale, T. reesei could be employed to secrete enzymes that can be purified and added into an aqueous mixture of cellulose pulp and other materials to produce sugar. The sugar can then be fermented by yeast to produce ethanol. " ::Turning fungus into fuel, ::Sequencing of Fungus Genome Opens Opportunities for Improvements in Biofuels Enzymes

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