Optimising processes for the deconstruction of plant biomass

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
Description This grant has served to develop a strong research collaboration between The University of Nottingham and the Joint Bioenergy Research Institute (JBEI) in California, US. As part of this collaboration the response of a filamentous fungus (Aspergillus) to growth on a variety of carbon feed stocks has been examined through analysis of the genes that the fungus expresses. This has shown that the fungal response is substrate specific a finding that may have implications for the use of these feed stocks as sources of bioenergy.
Exploitation Route Since the fungal response to different feed stocks appears to be substrate specific this implies that these results could be used by the bioenergy industry to develop tailor made enzyme cocktails for the breakdown of different substrates and thus improve the efficiency of the bioenergy production process
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy

Description The data from the 138 RNAseq are being used by the JGI in the US to improve the annotation of their genome sequence for Aspergillus.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Impact Types Policy & public services

Description Partnership with JBEI 
Organisation Joint BioEnergy Institute
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This was a partnership award that funded exchange visits between Nottingham and JBEI. During the initial visit potential collaborations were explored and a joint project identified to examine the response (at a transcriptomic level) of fungi towards a range of pre treated biomass samples. The team at Nottingham then exposed fungi to pre treated wheat straw, Miscanthus and willow. A range of pre treatments including hydrothermal and ionic liquid were utilised in this research. The team extracted RNA samples for the fungi over a time course of 5 to 10 days. There were a total of about 128 sampling points in all. The NA samples were then sent to JBEI for analysis. The annotated genome data were returned to Nottingham and analysis of the data was undertaken to prepare joint publications.
Collaborator Contribution JBEI, in collaboration with the JCI, undertook to carry out RNAseq analysis of all 128 samples from the experiments at Nottingham. The JCI used the sequences obtained to improve their annotation map for the Aspergillus genome. hen JBEI undertook the complete annotation of the RNAseq data and returned this to Nottingham. JBEI then collaborated with the analysis of this data and the preparation of the joint papers.
Impact Two refereed publications have arisen from this collaboration.
Start Year 2010