Seminar with PhD Ken Bruno from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington.
In recent years the United States' Department of Energy (DoE) has invested in research toward advancing the utilization of biomass. This investment includes providing a large amount genome sequence data through the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) which has placed a substantial emphasis on filamentous fungi. These ubiquitous microorganisms play a crucial role in the earth's carbon cycle and in many environments they are the organisms most responsible for the degradation of plant biomass. Fungi are the primary source of enzymes used in conversion of plant material to sugars including starch hydrolysis for traditional ethanol production and, more recently, enzyme preparations that are used to obtain sugars from lignocellulosic biomass. Fungi are also sought after for their ability to produce a wide array of commercially valuable organic compounds. In the Fungal Biotechnology Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory we are developing technologies for the production of enzymes, organic acids, and secondary metabolites using filamentous fungi.