Ashling Granahan

The development of an expression system of endogenous serine proteases in basidiomycete fruiting body development, Coprinus cinerea.

Supervisor: Mary Heneghan

Funding Body: President’s Bursary Award


Mushrooms are of great importance to the economy and environment. The benefit to the environment is that, basidiomycetes degrade organic matter such as animal remains, manures and plant material, leaf litter for instance. Basidiomycetes are the only known group of fungi that breakdown and involved in the chemical conversion of litter components, (Steffen et al 2007) This reduced waste that will end up in landfill sites or incinerated adding to carbon dioxide affecting global warming issues that can be used in mushroom conversion. Wheat straw is used for production of mushroom adding to 100, 000 tones which would require alternative disposal. Agaricus bisporus is a button mushroom, the most grown and consumed; Coprinus cinerea is an ink cap mushroom. Coprinus cinerea is the model organism for the study of basidiomycete fungi.

Agaricus bisporus and Coprinus cinerea serine proteases are studied, as serine proteases are essential because they have a part in postharvest senescence (the growth phase in a plant or plant part from full maturity to death) of the mushroom.

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