Rebecca Evans

Aberystwyth University: Environment and Agriculture

Rebecca Evans

Aberystwyth University: Environment and Agriculture

Anaerobic fungi occupy the gastrointestinal tract of many vegetarian animals, and contribute to the vital role of degrading the plants eaten with a range of powerful hydrolytic enzymes. While these enzymes are important for the efficiency of the rumen, they are also useful in biotechnological and biomedical industries. The rumen's microbiome represents a unique source for new microbial enzymes and new metabolites; the microbial enzymes with a biotechnological potential, and new metabolites as possible candidates for new drugs to target the huge problem of antimicrobial resistance. In order to discover any new compounds, genomic data must be analysed in order to explore the variety of enzymes and antimicrobial peptides within the fungi's genomes. The genome of several anaerobic fungi has already been sequenced, and the aim is to take advantage of the extensive collection of anaerobic fungi in order to discover hydrolytic enzymes, and which fungi show this activity. In addition, functional genomic libraries must be screened in the search for related genes with antimicrobial compounds. The rumen's genetic diversity and microbial composition have been studied in detail in a number of animals. Nevertheless, one can argue that the full and functional diversity is still unclear, for example, the fungi's enzymatic and antimicrobial activity.

Start Date: October 2016