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Biological Sciences
Research Highlights

June 2017

From Gut Fungi to Sustainable Fuels

digestion
A chain of repeating green glucose molecules in cellulose being broken down by a fungus. Image courtesy of Scott Condon/UCSB

Fungi in the digestive tracts of cows, goats and sheep may lead to new ways to create sustainable fuels and medicines.

A recent paper published in Nature Microbiology picked up on that theme by exploring fungal enzymes in herbivores that assemble to form cellulosomes, large protein structures made up of several enzymes.

The work involved co-authors from PNNL: Aaron Wright, Samuel Purvine, Heather Brewer, and Scott Baker. It was led by Michelle O'Malley of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Through the FICUS program, she drew on the resources of two Department of Energy Office of Science user facilities, the Joint Genome Institute and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL).

More information is available via reports from UCSB, JGI and EMSL. The study was the subject of a recent PNNL new release.


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