Plant Pathogens of Feedstock Crops as a Source of Useful Enzymes for Conversion

Plant pathogenic fungi are a rich and untapped source of cell wall degrading enzymes for feedstock conversion. Switchgrass pathogens are ideal candidates to prospect for enzymes useable in conversion of switchgrass biomass because these fungal strains have evolved the capacity to degrade cell walls of this species. Therefore this project will target biopropecting at necrotrophic fungal pathogens isolated from switchgrass and other potential feedstock crops in the Northeast. The ultimate long-term goal is to identify and develop enzyme systems for optimal bioethanol production. The end products should be higher catalytic function enzymes that can be used at lower amounts, at reduced overall costs and with higher efficiency in lignocellulosic bioconversion. Expected Outcomes: The investigators expect to identify superior fungal isolates that produce cellulases and xylanses equivalent to or better than the industry standard Trichoderma reesii. Symptomatic tissues of switchgrass and other biofeedstock species will be collected from natural and cultivated stands of these species in the field and plant pathogenic fungi will be isolated from these tissues, cultured, identified, and archived. We will build a collection of 400 isolates of diverse fungal genera and species. These fungal isolates will be screened for growth on lignocellulosic substrates and for cellulase and xylanase activities.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration
      Washington, DC  USA  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Cornell University

      Ithaca, NY  USA  14853
    • Principal Investigators:


    • Start Date: 20080701
    • Source Data: RiP Project 25211

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01461697
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Northeast Sun Grant Institute
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:50PM