Special Issue "Regulation and Mechanisms of Plant Biomass Degrading Enzymes from Fungi"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Enzymology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 2143

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Monika Schmoll
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Health & Bioresources, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, 3430 Tulln, Austria
Interests: Trichoderma reesei; signal transduction; light response; sexual development; plant cell wall degradation;
Dr. Daniel Kracher
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
Interests: biomass degradation; second-generation biofuels; cellulases; redox enzymes; biocatalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Paul Daly
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Protection, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
Interests: CAZymes; genomics; gene regulation; microbe-–microbe and plant-–microbe interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With their high potential to degrade recalcitrant plant biomass in nature, fungi contribute significantly to the global carbon cycle. To succeed in their habitat, fungi evolved sophisticated mechanisms for tight regulation of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, as well as efficient enzymes combined for optimal resource efficiency of energy input for enzyme biosynthesis and output of nutrient acquisition.

Understanding the natural heritage of fungi, in terms of the regulation of plant cell wall degradation and the required efficient enzyme combinations, serves to enhance biotechnology to achieve a more sustainable industry. Enzymes perform challenging chemical conversions in a stereo-selective and often more efficient way than conventional chemical strategies. From biofuels to food additives to washing agents—enzymes have become crucial components of numerous everyday products.

In several decades of research, enzyme production has improved considerably and knowledge on enzyme modification for enhanced efficiency has increased. Nevertheless, in many cases, the application of enzymes is still hampered by limited stability under the required conditions, as well as prohibitive production costs for large-scale applications. However, besides the industrial value of enzymes, the high ecological relevance of fungi in nature as major degraders of plant biomass, as well as their role in the complex microbiome, is of high importance to ensure biodiversity, fertile soils, and a healthy nutrient cycle.

For this Special Issue, we welcome original research manuscripts as well as reviews covering the breadth of the topic from regulatory impacts of environmental signals and nutrients on signaling pathways, also during fungus–plant interaction (the natural basis for plant biomass degradation), to transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation, secretion to enzyme activity, optimization as well as enzyme-substrate interactions. Studies on model organisms, little studied fungi, and oomycetes with ecological, agricultural, or biotechnological relevance will be considered, as well as novel tools and methods to investigate regulation mechanisms or enzyme function in fungi.

Dr. Monika Schmoll
Dr. Daniel Kracher
Dr. Paul Daly
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • fungi
  • gene regulation
  • plant biomass
  • CAZyme production
  • molecular tools

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Tools for Genome Editing in the White-Rot Fungus Dichomitus squalens
Biomolecules 2021, 11(10), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11101526 - 15 Oct 2021
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Dichomitus squalens is an emerging reference species that can be used to investigate white-rot fungal plant biomass degradation, as it has flexible physiology to utilize different types of biomass as sources of carbon and energy. Recent comparative (post-) genomic studies on D. squalens [...] Read more.
Dichomitus squalens is an emerging reference species that can be used to investigate white-rot fungal plant biomass degradation, as it has flexible physiology to utilize different types of biomass as sources of carbon and energy. Recent comparative (post-) genomic studies on D. squalens resulted in an increasingly detailed knowledge of the genes and enzymes involved in the lignocellulose breakdown in this fungus and showed a complex transcriptional response in the presence of lignocellulose-derived compounds. To fully utilize this increasing amount of data, efficient and reliable genetic manipulation tools are needed, e.g., to characterize the function of certain proteins in vivo and facilitate the construction of strains with enhanced lignocellulolytic capabilities. However, precise genome alterations are often very difficult in wild-type basidiomycetes partially due to extremely low frequencies of homology directed recombination (HDR) and limited availability of selectable markers. To overcome these obstacles, we assessed various Cas9-single guide RNA (sgRNA) ribonucleoprotein (RNP) -based strategies for selectable homology and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) -based gene editing in D. squalens. We also showed an induction of HDR-based genetic modifications by using single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ssODNs) in a basidiomycete fungus for the first time. This paper provides directions for the application of targeted CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing in D. squalens and other wild-type (basidiomycete) fungi. Full article
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