Recombinant fungal biotechnology
Kück, Ulrich Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Botanik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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The targeted construction of genetically engineered strains of fungi of biotechnical relevance. Filamentous fungi have been used for decades as major producers in the pharmaceutical, food, and food-processing industries, and this has led to high technical standards in fermentation processes with large-scale fermenters. For example, the fungi are used to produce antibiotics [for example, penicillin (Fig. 1), cephalosporin C, or griseofulvin], alkaloid drugs, immunosuppressants (for example, cyclosporin A), steroids (for example, progesterone), and statins (which lower blood cholesterol). This biotechnical relevance, together with the fact that many filamentous fungi possess the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) regulatory status in the United States, makes them ideal organisms for producing recombinant proteins, artificially made through recombinant DNA technology. Examples include plant growth regulators (for example, gibberellins) for agricultural applications and therapeutic glycoproteins intended for use in humans. See also: Antibiotic; Biotechnology; Cholesterol; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Fermentation; Fungal biotechnology; Fungi; Genetic engineering; Gibberellins; Molecular biology; Mycology; Protein; Recombination (genetics)
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