George Anasontzis

George Anasontzis

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2015

Receiving laboratory: BBF Biodiversity and Biotechnology of Fungi, INRA - Aix Marseille University

Country of origin : Sweden




Mobility project

Identification and characterization of novel fungal carbohydrate-active enzymes for biorefinery applications

During my mobility project, I worked on four different groups of enzymes:
The main project involved the Glycoside Hydrolase GH131 family of endoglucanases. Using comparative transcriptomics, we identified the GH131 family as important players in plant tissue colonisation. We investigated the presence GH131-coding genes in the fungal kingdom and analysed the enzymatic activities among fungi of different lifestyles.
I also worked on the characterization of the single GH5 sequence found in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor. The gene had been found upregulated during the interaction of the microorganism with poplar roots. We characterized the enzyme and investigated its role in the ectomycorrhizal formation.
I also worked on the characterisation of the function of three groups of enzymes of unknown function that have been detected in the genome of a wide range of microorganisms.

Biography & research interests

I did my Master at the University of Athens on Microbial Biotechnology and the production of biomass-degrading enzymes from fungi on the solid waste of a 2-phase olive mill. I continued towards my PhD studies at the same institution, on the genetic modification of a filamentous fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, in order to increase its potential to convert sugars to ethanol. This, coupled with the wide range of plant-biomass degrading enzymes that it produces could make it a good candidate for ethanol production in a consolidated bioprocess.
Then I moved for my first post-doc at Chalmers University of Technology, in Gothenburg, Sweden, where I worked on biomass-modifying enzyme discovery, production, characterization, and application, as well as on microbial strain isolation and screening. I coordinated the collaboration with the Food Industries Research Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam. During that time, I also had the opportunity to teach to two PhD courses and one Master course, on biomass degrading enzymes discovery, function and classification, and plant biomass structure, pretreatment and hydrolysis.
At the University of Aix-Marseille, I worked on the projects described at Agreenskills.
At the moment, I’m at the Technical University of Denmark, working on macroalgae biorefinery processes.

Selected publications

1. Anasontzis GE, Thuy NT, Hang DTM, Huong HT, Thanh DT, Hien DD, Thanh VN, Olsson L. 2017. Rice straw hydrolysis using secretomes from novel fungal isolates from Vietnam. Biomass and Bioenergy 99:11–20.
2. Anasontzis, G.E., Kourtoglou, E., Villas-Boâs, S.G., Hatzinikolaou, D.G., and Christakopoulos, P. (2016). Metabolic engineering of F. oxysporum to improve its ethanol-producing capability. Frontiers in Microbiology 7. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00632. Citation 4.
3. McKee, L.S., Sunner, H., Anasontzis, G.E., Toriz, G., Gatenholm, P., Bulone, V., Vilaplana, F., and Olsson, L. (2016). A GH115 α-glucuronidase from Schizophyllum commune contributes to the synergistic enzymatic deconstruction of softwood glucuronoarabinoxylan. Biotechnology for Biofuels 9, 1-13. doi: 10.1186/s13068- 015-0417-6, Citations 8.*
4. Peciulyte A, Anasontzis GE, Karlstrom K, Larsson PT, Olsson L (2014) Morphology and enzyme production of Trichoderma reesei Rut C-30 are affected by the physical and structural characteristics of cellulosic substrates. Fungal Genet Biol(0) doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2014.07.011). IF 3.262. Citations 15.*
5. Anasontzis G, Christakopoulos P (2014) Challenges in ethanol production with Fusarium oxysporum through consolidated bioprocessing. Bioengineered 5(6) Citations 10.
6. Anasontzis, G.E., Kourtoglou, E., Mamma, D., Villas-Boâs S.G., Hatzinikolaou D.G., Christakopoulos, P. Constitutive homologous expression of phosphoglucomutase and transaldolase increases the metabolic flux of Fusarium oxysporum. Microbial Cell Factories 13, 43 (2014). IF 4.25. Citations 8.
7. Anasontzis, G.E., Salazar Pena, M., Spadiut, O., Brumer, H., and Olsson, L. (2014). Effects of temperature and glycerol and methanol-feeding profiles on the production of recombinant galactose oxidase in Pichia pastoris. Biotechnol Prog 30, 728-735. doi: 10.1002/btpr.1878.. Citations 19.*
8. Stepan AM, Anasontzis GE, Matama T, Cavaco-Paulo A, Olsson L, Gatenholm P (2013) Lipases efficiently stearate and cutinases acetylate the surface of arabinoxylan films. J Biotechnol 167(0):16-23 . IF 2.884, Citations 4.*
9. Stathopoulou, P.M., Galanopoulou, A.P., Anasontzis, G.E., Karagouni, A.D. & Hatzinikolaou, D.G. Assessment of the biomass hydrolysis potential in bacterial isolates from a volcanic environment: biosynthesis of the corresponding activities. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 28, 2889-2902 (2012). IF 1.353. Citations 8.
10. Anasontzis G., Zerva A., Stathopoulou P. M., Haralampidis K., Diallinas G., Karagouni A.D., Hatzinikolaou D.G., Homologous overexpression of xylanase in Fusarium oxysporum increases ethanol productivity during the simultaneous saccharification/fermentation of lignocellulosics”, Journal of Biotechnology (2011) vol.152 ( 1-2): 16-23. IF 2.884. Citations 40.
11. Kourtoglou E., G.E. Anasontzis (equally contributing), Mamma D., Topakas E., Hatzinikolaou D.G., Christakopoulos P. (2011). Constitutive expression, purification and characterization of phosphoglucomutase from Fusarium oxysporum”, Enzyme and Microbial Technology 48(3): 217-224. IF 2.966. Citations 8.
12. Anasontzis G., Petala M., Tsiridis V., Samaras P., Zouboulis A., Sakellaropoulos G., Lazaridou-Demetriadou M., (2002). Toxicity of the disinfected with ozon, secondary effluents, Proceeding of the 12th Seminar for the protection of the environment (peer reviewed research article on conference proceeding).



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