Monday, 5 October 2020

Grant recipient:
Katja S. Johansen, Professor, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen

Project title:
Oxygen Constraints on Microbial Secretomes during Plant Cell Wall Turnover (OxyMiST).

Co-applicants:
Jean-Guy Berrin, Theme Leader, Fungal Biodiversity and Biotechnology Lab, INRAE, France

Paul Dupree, Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK

Brief description:
The project will investigate how oxygen contributes to the enzymatic breakdown of carbohydrate in the plant cell wall, thus enabling fungi to absorb nutrients. Specifically, the research will be based on two selected ecosystems: peat soil and wood. These ecosystems are especially interesting because much of the Earth’s carbon is stored in them and because the amount of available oxygen varies significantly in these conditions.

The project provides an opportunity to improve understanding of an important process in nature. In addition, the results can strongly influence our use of enzymes in other contexts, such as in industry, in which enzymes are used to produce a wide range of products such as fuel, materials and food.

“The OxyMiST consortium will investigate how oxygen influences the secretion of enzymes by fungi and the enzymatic processes. So far, we have only seen a snippet of what appears to be a rather complicated picture. This will be really exciting!” says Katja S. Johansen who is receiving DKK 59.9 million for her research.