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Title: Transcriptomic characterization of Caecomyces churrovis: a novel, non-rhizoid-forming lignocellulolytic anaerobic fungus

Anaerobic gut fungi are the primary colonizers of plant material in the rumen microbiome, but are poorly studied due to a lack of characterized isolates. While most genera of gut fungi form extensive rhizoidal networks, which likely participate in mechanical disruption of plant cell walls, fungi within the Caecomyces genus do not possess these rhizoids. Here, we describe a novel fungal isolate, Caecomyces churrovis, which forms spherical sporangia with a limited rhizoidal network yet secretes a diverse set of carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) for plant cell wall hydrolysis. Despite lacking an extensive rhizoidal system, C. churrovis is capable of growth on fibrous substrates like switchgrass, reed canary grass, and corn stover, although faster growth is observed on soluble sugars. Gut fungi have been shown to use enzyme complexes (fungal cellulosomes) in which CAZymes bind to non-catalytic scaffoldins to improve biomass degradation efficiency. However, transcriptomic analysis and enzyme activity assays reveal that C. churrovis relies more on free enzymes compared to other gut fungal isolates. Only 15% of CAZyme transcripts contain non-catalytic dockerin domains in C. churrovis, compared to 30% in rhizoid-forming fungi. Furthermore, C. churrovis is enriched in GH43 enzymes that provide complementary hemicellulose degrading activities, suggesting that a widermore » variety of these activities are required to degrade plant biomass in the absence of an extensive fungal rhizoid network. In conclusion, molecular characterization of a non-rhizoid-forming anaerobic fungus fills a gap in understanding the roles of CAZyme abundance and associated degradation mechanisms during lignocellulose breakdown within the rumen microbiome.« less
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  1. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab.
  3. Harper Adams Univ., Newport (United Kingdom). Agriculture Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems (ACSES), Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1754-6834; PII: 997
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0010352; MCB-1553721; W911NF-09-0001; AC0576RL01830; DMR-1121053; CNS-0960316; DGE 114085
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biotechnology for Biofuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-6834
BioMed Central
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Scientific User Facilities Division; United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA); US Army Research Office (ARO); National Science Foundation (NSF); Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI); Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Harper Adams Univ., Newport (United Kingdom)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Anaerobic fungi; Neocallimastigomycota; Cellulase; Enzyme; Cellulosome
OSTI Identifier: