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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 4;8(9):e71068. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071068. eCollection 2013.

Genomic, proteomic, and biochemical analyses of oleaginous Mucor circinelloides: evaluating its capability in utilizing cellulolytic substrates for lipid production.

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1
Biosciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, United States of America.

Abstract

Lipid production by oleaginous microorganisms is a promising route to produce raw material for the production of biodiesel. However, most of these organisms must be grown on sugars and agro-industrial wastes because they cannot directly utilize lignocellulosic substrates. We report the first comprehensive investigation of Mucor circinelloides, one of a few oleaginous fungi for which genome sequences are available, for its potential to assimilate cellulose and produce lipids. Our genomic analysis revealed the existence of genes encoding 13 endoglucanases (7 of them secretory), 3 β-D-glucosidases (2 of them secretory) and 243 other glycoside hydrolase (GH) proteins, but not genes for exoglucanases such as cellobiohydrolases (CBH) that are required for breakdown of cellulose to cellobiose. Analysis of the major PAGE gel bands of secretome proteins confirmed expression of two secretory endoglucanases and one β-D-glucosidase, along with a set of accessory cell wall-degrading enzymes and 11 proteins of unknown function. We found that M. circinelloides can grow on CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose) and cellobiose, confirming the enzymatic activities of endoglucanases and β-D-glucosidases, respectively. The data suggested that M. circinelloides could be made usable as a consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) strain by introducing a CBH (e.g. CBHI) into the microorganism. This proposal was validated by our demonstration that M. circinelloides growing on Avicel supplemented with CBHI produced about 33% of the lipid that was generated in glucose medium. Furthermore, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis showed that when growing on pre-saccharified Avicel substrates, it produced a higher proportion of C14 fatty acids, which has an interesting implication in that shorter fatty acid chains have characteristics that are ideal for use in jet fuel. This substrate-specific shift in FAME profile warrants further investigation.

PMID:
24023719
PMCID:
PMC3762813
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0071068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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