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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: PATHWAY ENGINEERING OF FUNGI FOR IMPROVED BIOPROCESS APPLICATIONS

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research Unit

Project Number: 3620-41000-132-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: May 03, 2009
End Date: May 03, 2010

Objective:
The overall objective of this project is the genetic modification of filamentous fungi for improved synthesis of value added products. The primary emphasis will focus on improving the efficiency of lactic acid production by Rhizopus oryzae through metabolic engineering. Additionally, the techniques developed in this research will be used to assess the potential of using this industrially robust organism for directed protein expression.

Approach:
Utilize metabolic engineering technologies to develop fungal strains with improved production capability for lactic acid. The general approach of this work is to sequentially increase enzymatic activities responsible for the production of lactic acid, while reducing those involved in the production of unwanted byproducts. The effects of these changes will be examined through traditional methods (i.e., fermentations, enzymatic activities, and northern data), as well as some of the newer genomic and metabolic flux analyses that will be incorporated into our work. Additionally, we will continue to develop methods for improved genetic recombination and RNA interference in Rhizopus. We will also design and employ strategies for the production and secretion of recombinant proteins of industrial interest using the fungus Rhizopus. Initial efforts of this work will include development and study of promoter/terminator constructs in Rhizopus. We will determine the importance of copy number compared to transcription promoter strength. Lastly, much of the work is to be focused on the necessary requirements for efficient folding and secretion. BSL-1 (or 1P) and Risk Group RG1 recertified September 3, 2009.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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