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ScienceDaily (May 5, 2008) — A spidery fungus with a voracious appetite for military uniforms and canvas tents could hold the key to improvements in the production of biofuels, a team of government, academic and industry researchers has announced.
In a paper published today in Nature Biotechnology, researchers led by Los Alamos National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute announced that the genetic sequence of the fungus Tricoderma reesei has uncovered important clues about how the organism breaks down plant fibers into simple sugars. The finding could unlock possibilities for industrial processes that can more efficiently and cost effectively convert corn, switchgrass and even cellulose-based municipal waste into ethanol. Ethanol from waste products is a more-carbon-neutral alternative to gasoline.