Fungal Biotechnology

Plant cell wall degrading enzymes mediate the utilisation of plant cell wall structural polysaccharides as carbon sources by phytopathogenic fungi upon infection, and pectin degradation is crucial for this process. Building on our extensive background in filamentous fungal gene regulation in the model saprophyte Aspergillus nidulans our research is directed towards the identification and characterisation of novel activators and repressors involved in the utilisation of pectin and pectin-related sugars as well as the components of their corresponding regulons. This is being tackled within the framework of a coordinated project in which we are undertaking a genome-wide high-throughput analysis (RNAseq) of pectin-acting/responsive activities in A. nidulans. The findings will be used to identify orthologues in the phytopathogenic fungi F. oxysporum and B. cinerea that could offer potential targets for new antifungal compounds of agricultural interest.

Main specialization

Scientific Area:
ERC discipline:
  • LS9 Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology
Industrial Leadership:
  • 4. Biotechnology
  • 4.2. Biotechnology-based industrial processes
Societal Challenges:
  • 2. Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bioeconomy.
  • 2.4. Sustainable and competitive bio-based industries