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P29: Biotechnol. potential of eukaryotic extremophiles, N. Gunde-Cimerman, T. Kogej, M. Turk

Title:

Dr

First Name:

Nina

Family Name:

Gunde-Cimerman

Position:

associate professor

Name of organization:

Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana

Address:

Vecna pot 111

Postcode:

SI-1000

City:

Ljubljana

Country:

Slovenia

Telephone:

+386 (0)1 423 33 88

Fax:

+386 (0)1 257 33 90

E-mail:

nina.gunde-cimerman@uni-lj.si

Website:

Title:

Ms

First Name:

Tina

Family Name:

Kogej

Position:

Ph.D. student

Name of organization:

Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana

Address:

Vecna pot 111

Postcode:

SI-1000

City:

Ljubljana

Country:

Slovenia

Telephone:

+386 (0)1 423 33 88

Fax:

+386 (0)1 257 33 90

E-mail:

tina.kogej@uni-lj.si

Website:

Title:

Dr.

First Name:

Martina

Family Name:

Turk

Position:

Teaching Assistant

Name of organization:

Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana

Address:

Vecna pot 111

Postcode:

SI-1000

City:

Ljubljana

Country:

Slovenia

Telephone:

+386 (0)1 423 33 88

Fax:

+386 (0)1 257 33 90

E-mail:

martina.turk@uni-lj.si

Website:

Proposed Title

Biotechnol. potential of eukaryotic extremophiles

Abstract

Biotechnological potential of eukaryotic extremophiles - halophilic fungi INTRODUCTION Halophilic microorganisms are very interesting from a biotechnological point of view. New applications could emerge from studies of the cell membranes, the intracellular organic and inorganic composition, genetic transfer systems, new intracellular and extracellular enzymes, secondary metabolites of pharmaceutical importance, food proteins and natural food colouring agents. 1.) One of the physiological peculiarities of halophiles is the production of compatible solutes, small organic compounds responsible for helping to exclude salt from the cytoplasm. The study of compatible solutes has a wide range of consequences outside the area of halophile research, due to their potential to stabilize macromolecules. 2.) Fungi are known producers of exopolymers, which provide protection from changes in environment like dehydration in hypersaline environments. They also play a role in surface adhesion, like in the case of Aureobasidium pullulans, to plant surfaces. As emulsifiers and because of their viscosity such exopolymers are interesting for the pharmaceutical and food industry. In halophilic Phaeotheca triangularis, production and composition of fibrous exopolymers depends on the concentration of salt in environment. At higher salinity, structural complexity and viscosity increase. So far, only the exopolymer pullulan is commercially produced by salt-tolerant A. pullulans. 3.) Extremophilic fungi represent a unique source of enzymes with interesting biotechnological properties. Polymer degrading enzymes such as amylases, pullulanases, xylanases, proteases,

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