Improvement of Saccharification and Delignification Efficiency of Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 by Genetic Bioengineering

Microorganisms. 2020 Jan 23;8(2):159. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8020159.


Trichoderma reesei produces various saccharification enzymes required for biomass degradation. However, the lack of an effective lignin-degrading enzyme system reduces the species' efficiency in producing fermentable sugars and increases the pre-treatment costs for biofuel production. In this study, we heterologously expressed the Ganoderma lucidum RMK1 versatile peroxidase gene (vp1) in the Rut-C30 strain of T. reesei. The expression of purified 6×His-tag-containing recombinant G. lucidum-derived protein (rVP1) was confirmed through western blot, which exhibited a single band with a relative molecular weight of 39 kDa. In saccharification and delignification studies using rice straw, the transformant (tVP7, T. reesei Rut-C30 expressing G. lucidum-derived rVP1) showed significant improvement in the yield of total reducing sugar and delignification, compared with that of the parent T. reesei Rut-C30 strain. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of tVP7-treated paddy straw showed extensive degradation of several layers of its surface compared with the parent strain due to the presence of G. lucidum-derived rVP1. Our results suggest that the expression of ligninolytic enzymes in cellulase hyperproducing systems helps to integrate the pre-treatment and saccharification steps that may ultimately reduce the costs of bioethanol production.

Keywords: Ganoderma lucidum; Trichoderma reesei; bioethanol; biomass degradation; delignification; scanning electron microscope; versatile peroxidase.