Enzyme discovery from Vietnamese fungi

The project is carried out in the Division of Industrial Biotechnology.

Researchers: Silvia Hüttner, Johan LarsbrinkLisbeth Olsson

Vietnam is an agricultural country which produces huge amounts of plant by-products annually. Due to lack of new technologies, most of these by-products are simply burned or left to rot. In this project, funded by SIDA and the Swedish Research Council, the goal is to advance the biotechnology available in Vietnam by knowledge transfer and development of new applications together with the Food Industries Research Institute (FIRI) in Hanoi. Through the use of biotechnology, we aim to increase the tools available in Vietnam for biomass utilization, such as enzymatic treatment of animal feed which can increase the nutrient uptake. Furthermore, the large quantities of agricultural waste, particularly rice straw, can be a great resource in the production of biofuels when hydrolyzed into fermentable sugars.

FIRI has a large collection of fungi at its disposal, among which thermophilic (heat resistant) strains are of particular interest. Enzymes that are stable and work efficiently at high temperatures are advantageous in industrial processes, as the chemical reactions they catalyze can proceed much faster and thus require a lower amount of added enzymes. In this project, we will both study the fungi themselves, such as what types of biomass they can break down, as well as conduct more detailed studies regarding the enzymes they produce and how these can be incorporated into efficient bioprocesses.

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2016.