BackgroundThere is an urgent requirement for second-generation bio-based industries for economical yet efficient enzymatic cocktail to convert diverse cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars. In our previous study, secretome of Penicillium funiculosum NCIM1228 showed high commercial potential by exhibiting high biomass hydrolyzing efficiency. To develop NCIM1228 further as an industrial workhorse, one of the major genetic interventions needed is global deregulation of cellulolytic genes to achieve higher enzyme production. Mig1 orthologs found in all yeast and filamentous fungi are transcriptional regulators that maintain carbon homeostasis by negatively regulating genes of secondary carbon source utilization. Their disruption has long been known to be beneficial for increasing the production of secreted enzymes for alternate carbon source utilization.ResultsUpon detailed genotypic and phenotypic analysis, we observed that NCIM1228 harbors a truncated yet functional allele of homolog of a well-known catabolite repressor, Mig1. Alleviation of carbon repression in NCIM1228 was attained by replacing functional Mig1134 allele with null allele Mig188. P. funiculosum having Mig188 null allele showed better growth characteristics and 1.75-fold better glucose utilization than parent strain. We also showed that visibly small colony size, one of the major characteristics of CCR disruptant strains in filamentous fungi, was not due to retarded growth, but altered hyphal morphology. CCR-disrupted strain PfMig188 showed profuse branching pattern in terminal hyphae resulting in small and compact colonies with compromised filamentous proliferation. We further observed that basal level expression of two major classes of cellulases, namely, cellobiohydrolase and endoglucanase, was regulated by Mig1134 in NCIM1228, whereas other two major classes, namely, xylanases and β-glucosidase, were only marginally regulated. Finally, CCR disruption in P. funiculosum NCIM1228 led to prolonged cellulase induction in production medium resulting in twofold increased cellulase activity than the parent strain with maximum secreted protein titer being > 14 g/l.ConclusionsCCR-disrupted P. funiculosum showed better growth, enhanced carbon source utilization, profuse branching pattern in terminal hyphae, and higher cellulase activity than parent strain. Our findings are particularly important in shedding light on important functions performed by Mig1 in addition to its role as negative regulator of alternate carbon source utilization in filamentous fungi.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1186/s13068-018-1011-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Production of β-glucosidase from Fusarium oxysporum was investigated during degradation of some cellulosic substrates (Avicel, α-cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), and methylcellulose). Optimized production of β-glucosidase using the cellulosic substrate that supported highest yield of enzyme was examined over 192 h fermentation period and varied pH of 3.0–11.0. The β-glucosidase produced was characterized for its suitability for industrial application. Methyl cellulose supported the highest yield of β-glucosidase (177.5 U/mg) at pH 6.0 and 30°C at 96 h of fermentation with liberation of 2.121 μmol/mL glucose. The crude enzyme had optimum activity at pH 5.0 and 70°C. The enzyme was stable over broad pH range of 4.0–7.0 with relative residual activity above 60% after 180 min of incubation. β-glucosidase demonstrated high thermostability with 83% of its original activity retained at 70°C after 180 min of incubation. The activity of β-glucosidase was enhanced by Mn2+ and Fe2+ with relative activities of 167.67% and 205.56%, respectively, at 5 mM and 360% and 315%, respectively, at 10 mM. The properties shown by β-glucosidase suggest suitability of the enzyme for industrial applications in the improvement of hydrolysis of cellulosic compounds into fermentable sugars that can be used in energy generation and biofuel production.
Background Sugarcane bagasse (SCB) is an abundant feedstock for second-generation bioethanol production. This complex biomass requires an array of carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), mostly from filamentous fungi, for its deconstruction to monomeric sugars for the production of value-added fuels and chemicals. In this study, we evaluated the repertoire of proteins in the secretome of a catabolite repressor-deficient strain of Penicillium funiculosum, PfMig188, in response to SCB induction and examined their role in the saccharification of SCB. Results A systematic approach was developed for the cultivation of the fungus with the aim of producing and understanding arrays of enzymes tailored for saccharification of SCB. To achieve this, the fungus was grown in media supplemented with different concentrations of pretreated SCB (0–45 g/L). The profile of secreted proteins was characterized by enzyme activity assays and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). A total of 280 proteins were identified in the secretome of PfMig188, 46% of them being clearly identified as CAZymes. Modulation of the cultivation media with SCB up to 15 g/L led to sequential enhancement in the secretion of hemicellulases and cell wall-modifying enzymes, including endo-β-1,3(4)-glucanase (GH16), endo-α-1,3-glucanase (GH71), xylanase (GH30), β-xylosidase (GH5), β-1,3-galactosidase (GH43) and cutinase (CE5). There was ~ 122% and 60% increases in β-xylosidase and cutinase activities, respectively. There was also a 36% increase in activities towards mixed-linked glucans. Induction of these enzymes in the secretome improved the saccharification performance to 98% (~ 20% increase over control), suggesting their synergy with core cellulases in accessing the recalcitrant region of SCB. Conclusion Our findings provide an insight into the enzyme system of PfMig188 for degradation of complex biomass such as SCB and highlight the importance of adding SCB to the culture medium to optimize the secretion of enzymes specific for the saccharification of sugarcane bagasse.
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are crucial industrial enzymes required in the biorefinery industry as well as in the natural carbon cycle. These enzymes, known to catalyze oxidative cleavage of glycosidic bonds, are produced by numerous bacterial and fungal species to assist in the degradation of cellulosic biomass. In this study, we annotated and performed structural analysis of an uncharacterized LPMO from Penicillium funiculosum (PfLPMO9) based on computational methods in an attempt to understand the behavior of this enzyme in biomass degradation. PfLPMO9 exhibited 75% and 36% sequence identity with LPMOs from Thermoascus aurantiacus (TaLPMO9A) and Lentinus similis (LsLPMO9A), respectively. Furthermore, multiple fungal genetic manipulation tools were employed to simultaneously overexpress LPMO and cellobiohydrolase I (CBH1) in a catabolite-derepressed strain of Penicillium funiculosum, PfMig188 (an engineered variant of P. funiculosum), to improve its saccharification performance toward acid-pretreated wheat straw (PWS) at 20% substrate loading. The resulting transformants showed improved LPMO and CBH1 expression at both the transcriptional and translational levels, with ∼200% and ∼66% increases in ascorbate-induced LPMO and Avicelase activities, respectively. While the secretome of PfMig88 overexpressing LPMO or CBH1 increased saccharification of PWS by 6% or 13%, respectively, over the secretome of PfMig188 at the same protein concentration, the simultaneous overexpression of these two genes led to a 20% increase in saccharification efficiency over that observed with PfMig188, which accounted for 82% saccharification of PWS under 20% substrate loading. IMPORTANCE Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass by cellulases continues to be a significant bottleneck in the development of second-generation biobased industries. While increasing efforts are being made to obtain indigenous cellulases for biomass hydrolysis, the high production cost of this enzyme remains a crucial challenge affecting its wide availability for efficient utilization of cellulosic materials. This is because it is challenging to obtain an enzymatic cocktail with balanced activity from a single host. This report describes the annotation and structural analysis of an uncharacterized lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO) gene in Penicillium funiculosum and its impact on biomass deconstruction upon overexpression in a catabolite-derepressed strain of P. funiculosum. Cellobiohydrolase I (CBH1), which is the most important enzyme produced by many cellulolytic fungi for saccharification of crystalline cellulose, was further overexpressed simultaneously with LPMO. The resulting secretome was analyzed for enhanced LPMO and exocellulase activities and the corresponding improvement in saccharification performance (by ∼20%) under high substrate loading using a minimal amount of protein.
Background Penicillium funiculosum NCIM1228 is a non-model filamentous fungus that produces high-quality secretome for lignocellulosic biomass saccharification. Despite having desirable traits to be an industrial workhorse, P. funiculosum has been underestimated due to a lack of reliable genetic engineering tools. Tolerance towards common fungal antibiotics had been one of the major hindrances towards development of reliable transformation tools against the non-model fungi. In this study, we sought to understand the mechanism of drug tolerance of P. funiculosum and the provision to counter it. We then attempted to identify a robust method of transformation for genome engineering of this fungus. Results Penicillium funiculosum showed a high degree of drug tolerance towards hygromycin, zeocin and nourseothricin, thereby hindering their use as selectable markers to obtain recombinant transformants. Transcriptome analysis suggested a high level expression of efflux pumps belonging to ABC and MFS family, especially when complex carbon was used in growth media. Antibiotic selection medium was optimized using a combination of efflux pump inhibitors and suitable carbon source to prevent drug tolerability. Protoplast-mediated and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation were attempted for identifying efficiencies of linear and circular DNA in performing genetic manipulation. After finding Ti-plasmid-based Agrobacterium-mediated transformation more suitable for P. funiculosum, we improvised the system to achieve random and homologous recombination-based gene integration and deletion, respectively. We found single-copy random integration of the T-DNA cassette and could achieve 60% efficiency in homologous recombination-based gene deletions. A faster, plasmid-free, and protoplast-based CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system was also developed for P. funiculosum. To show its utility in P. funiculosum, we deleted the gene coding for the most abundant cellulase Cellobiohydrolase I (CBH1) using a pair of sgRNA directed towards both ends of cbh1 open reading frame. Functional analysis of ∆cbh1 strain revealed its essentiality for the cellulolytic trait of P. funiculosum secretome. Conclusions In this study, we addressed drug tolerability of P. funiculosum and developed an optimized toolkit for its genome modification. Hence, we set the foundation for gene function analysis and further genetic improvements of P. funiculosum using both traditional and advanced methods.
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