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New biotechnology

Penicillium subrubescens is a promising alternative for Aspergillus niger in enzymatic plant biomass saccharification.


PMID 27469436

Abstract

In industrial applications, efficient mixtures of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes are needed to convert plant biomass into fermentable sugars. Most of the commercially produced lignocellulolytic enzymes are from a limited number of filamentous fungi, such as Trichoderma and Aspergillus species. In contrast, the plant biomass-degrading capacity of Penicillia has been less explored. We performed growth profiling of several Penicillia on diverse plant biomass-related substrates demonstrating the capacity particularly of Penicillium subrubescens to degrade crude lignocellulose feedstock, as well as polysaccharides, and metabolise their monomeric components. We focussed on the lignocellulolytic potential of P. subrubescens FBCC1632, which produced a variable set of (hemi-)cellulolytic activities on plant biomass substrates with activity levels comparable to those of Aspergillus niger. The good ability of the extracellular enzyme mixtures produced by P. subrubescens to saccharify complex plant biomasses, wheat bran and sugar beet pulp, indicated a high potential for this strain as a producer of industrial enzyme cocktails.