Mining the secretome of the lignocellulose degrading fungus Graphium sp.

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


The need to reduce our reliance on fossil derived hydrocarbons for chemical and fuel production is pressing. Biofuels provide substantial reductions in carbon emissions compared to fossil fuels. Producing biofuels from the sugars released from degrading woody residues of crops provides an attractive way of making biofuels sustainable without impacting food security; however the complexity and recalcitrance of this promising feedstock hampers energy and economic efficient usage by industry. In order to unlock this potential there is a need to identify new lignocellulose degrading enzymes derived directly or indirectly from nature. Previous work in our lab has resulted in the isolation of a prolific lignocellulose degrading fungus identified as Graphium sp that displays a high tolerance to toxic lignin derivatives. Preliminary studies of the organism's secretome suggest an abundance of extracellular proteins are produced, most of them currently are unidentifiable using the extant genome.

The project will use 'omics and protein expression technologies to discover highly performing lignocellulose degrading enzymes for lignocellulose digestion in Graphium sp and will elucidate the molecular mechanisms that allow Graphium sp to be such an effective lignocellulose degrader. The project will also involve the characterisation of a novel ligninase produced by Graphium sp that has potential for biorefining applications. This is a CASE studentship in partnership with Prozomix where the student will have the opportunity to carry out techniques in high throughput cloning and expression of recombinant enzymes from Graphium sp.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2279637 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Conor James Scott