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Visiting Speaker Seminar: Prof Katja S. Johansen
Feb 20, 10:30 am
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases from a plant perspective
Presented by Professor Katja S. Johansen, Department for Geosciences and Natural resource management, University of Copenhagen | Frederiksberg, Denmark
When: 10.30 am, Thursday 20 February.
Where: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Hartley Grove, Waite Campus.
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper enzymes that operate in synergy with carbohydrate hydrolases. By initiating degradation of recalcitrant substrates such as cellulose, these enzymes are major contributors to the recycling of carbon in nature. They are also being used in the biorefinery industry. Several families of LPMOs have been defined and structurally characterized in recent years. Most of the enzymes are of microbial origin and prevalent in saprophytic fungi. However, necrotrophic plant pathogens such as Botrytis and Fusarium expresses many different LPMOs.
We have studied LPMO reactions in complex saccharification trials using steam pre-treated wheat straw as substrate. These data and advice to design of saccharification assays on lignocellulosic materials in general will be presented.
Most recently, we have been involved in the identification of a new type of LPMO-like proteins seemingly without any enzyme activity in several fungal species including the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria biolor. Immunolocalisation studies revealed exposure of the protein at the interface between fungal hyphae and Populus rootlet cells.
About the speaker:
My masters and PhD degrees are in plant biochemistry from University of Copenhagen. From here, I have also received a DSc in 2018. However, I have worked as an industrial scientist at Novozymes A/S for more than 13 years. I spent a year as post doc in Geoff Fincher laboratory at University of Adelaide prior to that position. I am currently heading a 5-year program to study lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases – a class of enzymes I was deeply involved in discovering. I am currently professor of plant cell wall degrading enzymes at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at University of Copenhagen.