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Fungi in white biotechnology: Expression of novel lignocellulose degrading enzymes


White Biotechnology consists of modern applications for the sustainable processing and production of chemicals, materials and energy. It uses whole organisms and enzymes to synthesize products that are easily degradable, require less energy and create less waste during their production. Various agricultural, agro-industrial and forestry lignocellulosic residues are known to have a huge potential as cheap and renewable feedstocks for production of bioenergy and the opportunity of co-producing valuable-added chemicals. Lignocellulose represents the most abundant renewable organic resource. For the efficient decomposition of lignocellulose fungi utilise a set of hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes recognized as economically viable and environmentally friendly industrial biocatalysts. To make industrial applications feasible,an efficient production system for these enzymes would be needed.
This project focuses on the science underlying the use of lignocellulosic materials in biotechnological applications. To further enhance our understanding of decomposition of lignocellulose by fungal enzymes, the project focus on the characterisation and heterologous production of new lignocellulose decomposing enzymes. These enzymes will be isolated, biochemically characterized and corresponding genes will be cloned and expressed in selected host organisms. Recombinant protein expression techniques in ascomycetes are not yet in use for the basidiomycete enzymes in the Univ. of Helsinki (UHel) thus setting-up these techniques will be of great importance. The combination of skills gained by the applicant during her MC Fellowship at the Univ of Nottingham and the excellent facilities at UHel make the project feasible and the project outputs will underpin the future career development of the applicant. The project will enhance continuation of collaboration between Nottingham and UHel in a research area which is competitive and has increasing need for collaborations and inter-disciplinarity.

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Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Katariina Vainio-Mattila (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 30 000