APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biomass deconstruction
- Useful for increasing expression of heterologous proteins in A. niger for: 1) Enzymes compatible with ionic liquids (ILs) for one-pot systems and/or 2) Expression of any heterologous protein
- Efficient and economical deconstruction of biomass is critical for the success of lignocellulosic biorefineries. The use of ILs in the pretreatment of biomass increases saccharification efficiency at lower cellulase loadings. However, some ILs can inhibit the activity of commercial cellulases and must be removed from the biomass prior to the application of the lignocellulosic enzyme mixture, a costly additional step in the conversion process.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed an approach to identify gene targets for improved heterologous enzyme production in the filamentous fungi Aspergillus Niger. Filamentous fungi have been widely utilized for enzyme production in the industry.
A forward genetics approach was used to increase heterologous enzyme production in A. niger. Since cellulolytic enzymes that can maintain function in the presence of ILs were identified, a strain engineered to secrete an IL-tolerant bacterial beta-glucosidase (BG) was mutagenized and the resulting progeny was screened for increased BG activity. Mutations in several loci were found to be associated with hyper-production of the heterologous enzyme. Deletion of one of these, a putative sugar transporter, resulted in a doubling of the heterologous BG enzyme activity detected in culture supernatants. This could potentially allow for increased production of heterologous proteins by A. niger for various industrial uses.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
STATUS: Patent pending.
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD: