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Temperature sensitivity and characteristics of fungal hydrolase enzymes from soil microfungi in Arctic

Soil microorganisms from the polar region, in particular the fungi have been found to produce a wide variety of compounds with industrial importance such as unique enzymes that are active at low temperatures. However, the reviews show reports studies on extracellular enzymatic activities of fungi in Arctic (Sonjak et al., 2007; Bancerz et al., 2005

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Project date

Starts
2013-07-01

Ends
2016-02-27

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Project Keywords

  • biological classification / fungi / slime molds
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Summary

Soil microorganisms from the polar region, in particular the fungi have been found to produce a wide variety of compounds with industrial importance such as unique enzymes that are active at low temperatures. However, the reviews show reports studies on extracellular enzymatic activities of fungi in Arctic (Sonjak et al., 2007; Bancerz et al., 2005; Fiedurek et al., 2003; Arnostiand Jørgensen, 2003) were much lower than in Antarctic (Krishnan et al., 2011; Duncan et al., 2008; Bradner et al., 1999; Weinstein et al., 1997; Fenice et al., 1997; Ray et al., 1992; Yamamoto et al., 1991). These resources can only be efficiently tapped with proper understanding and documentation of the microfungi diversity present. Hence, effort is required to isolate and characterize them. This pool of interesting microfungi can be maintained in a culture collection and used for screening for useful enzymes, other biotechnological applications and to test their sensitivity towards temperature. The main compounds of interest of our project are the enzymes such as amylase and cellulase from this microfungi. To date no studies have addressed the sensitivity of soil microfungi towards temperature (or other environmental driver) variation or change. A number of studies have examined enzyme temperature sensitivity in metabolic enzymes in insects (Huestis, Oppert and Marshall , 2009), intertidal invertebrates (Dong and Somero, 2009) and fish (Johns and Somero, 2004). In general terms, temperature sensitivity has been studied in soil organic matter across different latitudes from boreal forest to tropical rain forest (German et. al., 2012), finding that soils from higher latitudes and cooler climates were apparently more sensitive to changes in temperature. Cold-adapted enzymes are also more sensitive than warm-adapted due to differences in protein structure causing the former to lose function more readily as temperature increases (Somero, 2004; Koch, Tscherko and Kandeler, 2007; Dong and Somero, 2009). Diversity of microfungi in the High Arctic soil is relatively weak (Alias and Suhaila 2007) but it provides an excellent ground for assessing the impact of global climate change on the biotic components in the ecosystem. In order to achieve that, continuous monitoring of the species diversity and their physiological characteristics is crucial. We have established data from pristine or low human activity area, the Ny-Alesund and Hornsund in the Spitsbergen, Arctic and it is very important to have data from the area with human population to gain a full view on the diversity and distribution of the microfungi and their association in the High Arctic ecosystem. Thus, Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen presents an ideal location for the monitoring.

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