Biotech Updates

Increased Cellulase Production in Trichoderma reesei by Metabolic Engineering

September 11, 2009

Hypocrea jecorina (Trichoderma reesei) is a filamentous fungi, known to produce high amounts of the enzyme cellulase. Cellulase is an enzyme used for the breakdown of cellulose molecules in lignocellulosic biomass into simple sugars for biofuel ethanol fermentation. Although Trichoderma has long been identified as a high cellulase producer, not much has been done on the improvement of this organism to further improve cellulase production, at the molecular biology level. New knowledge about cellulose production, and the recent release of its genomic sequence now allows the "targeted improvement" of its cellulase-production capability through metabolic engineering. "Metabolic engineering" is a technique which optimizes the genetic and biochemical regulatory pathways in a cell, for the purpose of increasing production of a target substance. Recently, Austrian scientists from the Research Area for Gene Technology and Applied Biochemistry, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Technology University, Vienna, recently reviewed how this could be done in Trichoderma. In their publication in the open access journal, Biotechnology for Biofuels, they reviewed the current knowledge in the regulation of cellulase production of the organism, and strategies for facilitating targeted improvement by metabolic engineering.

Related information: Genetic and Metabolic Engineering Microbial taxonomy of Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina)