Aim of the Academy project Fungcolife is to reveal the biochemical and genetic responses initiated when diverse species of wood-decay fungi are interacting. The project integrates omics data with interaction experiments on natural substrates (wood and other plant materials).

Research project focuses on bioconversion of lignocellulos waste materials by Polyporales fungi. Main efforts have been put in designing a single-step single species ethanol bioconversion method. This research aims to better understand the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation by studying the gene expression and regulation of wood degradation and core metabolism together with metabolite profiles. One of the aims is also to design bioreactors suited for solid state cultivations.

We have sequenced the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of the white rot fungus Phlebia radiata in collaboration with the DNA Sequencing and Genomics laboratory (Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki). The nuclear genome has been functionally annotated and especially genes involved with plant cell wall degradation have been manually curated. Comparative genomic analyses between P. radiata and other closely related phlebioid species are ongoing. The transcriptome and proteome of P. radiata growing on solid spruce wood has been analyzed confirming that the fungus expresses and produces all the hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes necessary for a white rot type of decay.