Surveying of acid-tolerant thermophilic lignocellulolytic fungi in Vietnam reveals surprisingly high genetic diversity
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019
Thermophilic fungi can represent a rich source of industrially relevant enzymes. Here, 105 fungal strains capable of growing at 50 degrees C and pH 2.0 were isolated from compost and decaying plant matter. Maximum growth temperatures of the strains were in the range 50 degrees C to 60 degrees C. Sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions indicated that 78 fungi belonged to 12 species of Ascomycota and 3 species of Zygomycota, while no fungus of Basidiomycota was detected. The remaining 27 strains could not be reliably assigned to any known species. Phylogenetically, they belonged to the genus Thielavia, but they represented 23 highly divergent genetic groups different from each other and from the closest known species by 12 to 152 nucleotides in the ITS region. Fungal secretomes of all 105 strains produced during growth on untreated rice straw were studied for lignocellulolytic activity at different pH and temperatures. The endoglucanase and xylanase activities differed substantially between the different species and strains, but in general, the enzymes produced by the novel Thielavia spp. strains exhibited both higher thermal stability and tolerance to acidic conditions. The study highlights the vast potential of an untapped diversity of thermophilic fungi in the tropics.