The chemical compound citric acid has been produced on a large-scale basis for decades with the help of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger. The fungus also has enzymes that can be used to help break down plant cell walls for biofuel production, and it plays a key role in the carbon cycle.
For biofuels, A. niger is a highly relevant organism since it has already been scaled up, shown to be safe, and used for enzyme production. An A. niger strain was selected for sequencing by the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in 2005.
In a recent paper, an international team of collaborators including JGI compared the genome of the citric-acid producing A. niger strain with another strain that had undergone mutagenesis for enzyme production. The fungal genomes are expected to help industry generate green chemicals and fuels from sustainable sources. The comparative analysis allowed the team to identify the key genes to each strain’s predominant characteristics. This information, along with genomic data from additional Aspergillus strains being sequenced at the DOE JGI should facilitate further optimization of these strains for different bio-products.
Reference: Andersen, M. R., et al. 2011. “Comparative Genomics of Citric-Acid-Producing Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 Versus Enzyme-Producing CBS 513.88,” Genome Research. Published online May 4, 2011, DOI:10.1101/gr.112169.110.
Contact: Dan Drell, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4742
SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER
Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]
Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]
Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]
Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]
Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]
List all highlights (possible long download time)