Beer, Mushrooms and Biofuels

Dr Jolanda van Munster, from Manchester Institute of Biotechnology & School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester

We exploit fungi for brewing and enjoy them as food, but this incredibly versatile group of organisms is capable of much more. Fungi can effectively recycle dead plant material, an impressive achievement since plant cell wall structures consist of complex polymers that evolved to be strong and difficult to break down. In this talk, I’d like to share my fascination for microbes with you, and together look at how advances in molecular biology led to our understanding of how fungi degrade plant biomass. I’ll then discuss the opportunities and challenges of applying this knowledge in biotechnology to convert agricultural waste into sustainable materials, fuels and chemicals.


Location and date