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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences and
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Plant Biology

PI: Steve Gantt
Co-PI: Simo Sarkanen

Genomic Sequencing the White-Rot Fungus Trametes cingulata

The production of large amounts of biofuel from plants depends on our ability to produce simple sugars from the lignocellulose material that composes the bulk of plant biomass. The enzymatic digestibility of cellulose, a polymer of the sugar glucose, increases as lignin levels are reduced in the lignocellulose material. The white-rot fungus Trametes cingulata secretes an enzyme, lignin depolymerase, that degrades lignin. This group has partially purified and sequenced this enzyme. To isolate the lignin depolymerase gene and study the process of lignin degradation, the researchers are taking advantage of recently developed and inexpensive DNA sequencing technology to define the sequence the T. cingulata genome. Their genome sequence data will facilitate future studies on the evolution, physiology, biochemistry, and ecology of T. cingulata, in particular, and white rot fungi in general. These studies will firmly establish T. cingulata as a principal research organism in the development of biofuels. The group is using resources at the CGL to assemble and analyze the T. cingulata genome, which is expected to encode more than 10,000 genes and to be about 40 million base pairs in length. They recently obtained about 400,000,000 bases of sequence are now processing it.

Group Members

Yi-ru Chen, Research Associate
Sajeet Haridas, Graduate Student