Advances in Fungal Biotechnology for Industry, Agriculture, and Medicine
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- Bioengineering fungi for biofuels and chemicals production;
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Advances in Fungal Biotechnology for Industry, Agriculture, and Medicine
Description this book In the past half century, filamentous fungi have grown in commercial importance not only in the food industry but also as sources of pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of infectious and metabolic diseases and of specialty proteins and enzymes used to process foods, fortify detergents, and perform biotransformations.
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Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Their paper discusses the technical and social changes that need to be made to enable all fungal biologists to make use of the new data; and it starts a special issue of the journal Mycologia which is devoted to genome-enabled mycology. The next Resources Box directs your attention to several journal special issues and monographic reviews that are worth examining because they show you the incredibly wide range of the interests and the technologies of existing mycologists in a way that might inspire you to join the ranks of the practising professionals.
Resources Box Learning more about genome-enabled mycology.
Several journals in the recent past have published special issues about various aspects of this topic. This is because the metabolic activities of fungi have already been harnessed for so long in applications ranging from food fermentation to pharmaceutical production that they are naturally thought of as indispensable biotechnological tools. We have discussed how fungi are utilised for industrial production processes throughout this book, most notably in Chapters 11 and The growing amount of information that seems to cascade from the various forms of genomic analysis described in Section The metabolic and enzymatic diversity encoded in the genomes of fungi will continue to be developed for production of new generations of enzymes, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and biofuels.
Though there must be many applications which will only emerge with time and further knowledge; there are some which are immediately obvious. Currently, fungal derived enzymes that degrade plant derived biomass are being utilised for the development of bioprocesses for biofuel and renewable chemical production, particularly the growing demand for sustainable production of biochemicals that substitute for chemicals otherwise obtained from fossil fuels.
Filamentous fungi are of great interests as biocatalysts in biorefineries as they naturally produce and secrete a variety of different organic acids that can be used as building blocks in the chemical industry; ideally, in a lignocellulosic biorefineries, the fungus could be considered in a combined approach where it hydrolyses plant biomass wastes and ferments the resulting sugars into different organic acids.
There is no shortage of novel methods to obtain new metabolites by engineering fungal secondary metabolism, but increased yield is the key essential and regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis is incompletely understood.
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However, the identification of the mcrA gene as a principal regulator of Aspergillus secondary metabolism indicates that further advance in this direction is imminent. Production of recombinant proteins by filamentous fungi was initially focussed on exploiting the extraordinary enzyme synthesis and secretion ability of fungi to produce single recombinant protein products, especially by industrial strains of Aspergillus , Trichoderma , Penicillium and Rhizopus species.
Two disadvantages of filamentous fungi as hosts for recombinant protein production became apparent immediately: one is their common ability to produce homologous proteases which could degrade the heterologous protein product and the other is that the protein glycosylation patterns in filamentous fungi and in mammals are quite different. Specifically, fungi lack the functionally important terminal sialylation of the glycans that occurs in mammalian cells.
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So, without engineering, filamentous fungi, despite their other advantages, are not the most suitable microbial hosts for production of recombinant human glycoproteins for therapeutic use. Most of what we have discussed so far in this Section has either stated or implied submerged liquid fermentation of fungi, but it is essential to remember that solid state fermentation is a crucial process for producing enzymes, organic acids, flavour compounds, pharmaceutical agents and food processing see Chapters 11 and 17; and see review by Ghosh, Of course, it is also the foundation of the mushroom cultivation industry Section Ganoderma is a particularly interesting edible commercial mushroom because it is mainly farmed for use as a traditional Chinese medicine.
Fruit bodies of the Ganoderma lucidum species complex contain many bioactive compounds; indeed, well over secondary metabolites have been isolated from various Ganoderma species Baby et al. The clinical evidence for antitumor and other medicinal activities of mushroom metabolites comes primarily from some commercialised purified polysaccharides, and polysaccharide preparations can be obtained from medicinal mushrooms cultured in bioreactors.
Mushroom polysaccharides do not attack cancer cells directly but produce their antitumor effects by activating various immune responses in the host. A wide range of pharmaceutically-interesting metabolites have been found in extracts of Ganoderma , and some have been found to be stimulators of neural stem cell proliferation in vitro which could be of value in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Other extracts have been assessed for genotoxicity and anti-genotoxicity using comet assays of mouse lymphocytes; no evidence was found for genotoxic chromosomal breakage nor cytotoxic effects by Ganoderma extract in the mouse, nor did it protect against the effects of the mutagen ethyl methanesulfonate.
This study found no evidence for the extract having any value in protecting against the test mutagen Chiu et al.
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Shah stresses the importance of genotoxicity testing for pharmaceuticals to ensure compliance with the guideline of the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use ICH ; a unique project that brings together regulatory authorities of Europe, Japan and the United States with pharmaceutical industry representatives.
We mention in Section These synthetic polymers are ubiquitous in the modern world but the global environmental problems they pose are caused by their careless disposal.
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Poly- ethylene terephthalate PET is one of the most abundantly produced synthetic polymers and is accumulating in the environment at a staggering rate as discarded packaging and textiles. Unfortunately, the properties that make PET so useful to us in our daily lives also endow it with an alarming resistance to biodegradation, with the potential of it lasting for centuries in most natural environments.
Most applications that employ PET, such as single-use beverage bottles, clothing, packaging, and carpeting employ crystalline PET, which is recalcitrant to catalytic or biological depolymerisation due to the limited accessibility of the ester linkages. PET can be depolymerised to its constituents if the ester bonds of the polymer can be cleaved. Doing this with available chemical techniques is too costly to be a viable recycling solution.
Recently, a newly discovered bacterium isolated from outside a bottle-recycling facility in Japan, Ideonella sakaiensis , was shown to exhibit the rare ability to grow on PET as a major carbon and energy source. When grown on PET, this strain produces two enzymes capable of hydrolysing PET and the reaction intermediate, mono 2-hydroxyethyl terephthalic acid.
Both enzymes are required to enzymatically convert PET efficiently into its two environmentally benign monomers, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol; so, yielding the monomers for further plastics manufacture Yoshida et al.