In Nature Genetics, a team led by scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, the JGI, and JBEI present the first large analysis of an Aspergillus fungal subgroup, section Nigri. The results are part of a long-term project to sequence, annotate and analyze the genomes of more than 300 Aspergillus fungi.
In choosing to focus on section Nigri, the researchers recognized the myriad of industrial applications for the fungi within this subgroup. They serve as production organisms for 49 of 260 industrial enzymes and are also very efficient producers of enzymes and secondary metabolites. JGI Fungal Program head Igor Grigoriev said that one of the aims in sequencing the genomes within the Aspergillus genus is to increase the catalog of carbohydrate active enzymes (CAzymes), which can degrade plant cell walls and thus have applications in the DOE mission to develop industrial processes for producing sustainable alternative fuels using candidate bioenergy feedstock crops. Click to read more on the JGI website.