Neocallimastix californiae G1 v1.0
Neocallimastix sp. G1. Credit: John Henske
Neocallimastix sp. G1. Credit: John Henske
Neocallimastix sp. G1 was isolated from a goat at the Santa Barbara Zoo
Neocallimastix sp. G1 was isolated from a goat at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Neocallimastix sp. G1 is an isolated strain of anaerobic gut fungi from the phylum Neocallimastigomycota, the earliest diverging branch of free-living fungi. Members of this class are obligate anaerobes, lack mitochondria (harboring hydrogenosomes instead), and reproduce asexually through the production of flagellated zoospores. Their life cycle resembles that of the members of the Chytridiomycota phylum. Gut fungi (Neocallimastigomycetes) are members of the gut microbial community within large herbivores, such as ruminants and hindgut fermenters, where they are the primary microbes to colonize plant material and initiate its degradation. Gut fungi can be isolated from the feces of these animals and sustained in anaerobic lab cultures where they are capable of degrading biomass without pretreatment (Haitjema et al., 2014), and are of key biotechnology interest due to the biomass-degrading enzymes that they produce.

Neocallimastix sp. G1 was isolated from the feces of a goat at the Santa Barabara Zoo (www.sbzoo.org). This fungal isolate is of particular interest for both fungal evolutionary and application based studies. The genome will aid in the discovery of novel biomass degrading enzymes that may be engineered or heterologously expressed for the production of lignocellulosic biofuels and other value added chemicals. Furthermore, the genomes will enable future –OMICs based characterization of these organisms, including insight into their unique organelles and biomass-degrading enzyme complexes.

References
Haitjema CH, Solomon KV, Henske JK, Theodorou MK, O’Malley MA. 2014. Anaerobic gut fungi: Advances in isolation, culture, and cellulolytic enzyme discovery for biofuel production. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 111:1471–1482.

Genome Reference(s)