2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Examination of Cellulase Gene Expression in Various Fungal Species

for the Improvement of Biofuel Production

Allison Y. Kufta* and Katherine Andrews
Mr. Clayton Dillavou and Dr. Carolina Sempertegui, Faculty Mentors

Cellulose degrading fungi are considered useful in the process of biofuel production. These fungi can be isolated from soil, but their digestive capabilities in the absence of contamination have been challenging to test. The methodology presented aims to solve these issues. We describe a protocol for the optimal collection and process of environmental samples, and a streamlined screening method for the detection of cellulase producing filamentous fungi. We used a selective, indicating, cellulase and amylase isolation medium, an improved and safer Congo red indicator dye to show carboxy-methyl cellulose utilization at an early stage and an improved Lugol’s iodine reagent for starch hydrolysis. Our results show that it is possible for us to identify fungi with cellulolytic potential with this simple, inexpensive, and relatively easy to interpret test. 

Keywords: cellulase, fungi, environmental, developmental research, biofuel, mycology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-17
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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