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Adrian Tsang, PhD

Professor and Director, Center for Functional and Structural Genomics, Biology

Adrian Tsang, PhD
Office: L-GE 120-11 
Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3405
Website(s): Fungal Genomics Project
Center for Functional and Structural Genomics


PhD (York)

Research interests

The economic and environmentally sustainable hydrolysis of plant cell wall into sugars remains one of the key challenges in the widespread utilization of lignocellulosic biomass as the substrate for bioproducts development. Microorganisms, in particular fungi, are efficient decomposers of plant biomass. They produce extracellular enzymes to breakdown plant biomass. We use genomic and ancillary approaches to identify novel enzymes involved in lignocellulose hydrolysis. Our research includes: 1) sequencing and analysis of thermophilic fungi and wood-rotting fungi; 2) examine the transcriptome and exo-proteome profiles of these fungi to identify promising lignocellulolytic proteins; 3) produce recombinant proteins using the industrial workhorse Aspergillus niger; 4) determine the biochemical properties of the recombinant enzymes; and 5) in collaboration with industrial and government partners, test the enzymes for industrial and environmental applications. Data management and development of computational tools are integral parts of our research. Other research interests include biocuration, phylogenomics, developmental of sustainable biotechnology and cell differentiation.

Selected publications

Badhan A, Jin L, Wang Y, Han S, Kowalczys K, Brown DC, Ayala CJ, Latoszek-Green M, Miki B, Tsang A, McAllister T. (2014) Expression of a fungal ferulic acid esterase in alfalfa modifies cell wall digestibility. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 7:39

Pereira EO, Tsang A, McAllister TA, Menassa R (2013) The production and characterization of a new active lipase from Acremonium alcalophilum using a plant bioreactor. Biotechnology for Biofuels 6: 111.

Strasser K, Bloomfield G, MacWilliams A, Ceccarelli A, MacWilliams H, Tsang A (2012) A retinoblastoma orthologue is a major regulator of S-phase, mitotic, and developmental gene expression in Dictyostelium. PLoS One 7:e39914

Floudas D, Binder M, Riley R, Barry K, Blanchette RA, Henrissat B, Martínez AT, Otillar R, Spatafora JW, Yadav JS, Aerts A, Benoit I, Boyd A, Carlson A, Copeland A, Coutinho PM, de Vries RP, Ferreira P, Findley K, Foster B, Gaskell J, Glotzer D, Górecki P, Heitman J, Hesse C, Hori C, Igarashi K, Jurgens JA, Kallen N, Kersten P, Kohler A, Kües U, Kumar TK, Kuo A, LaButti K, Larrondo LF, Lindquist E, Ling A, Lombard V, Lucas S, Lundell T, Martin R, McLaughlin DJ, Morgenstern I, Morin E, Murat C, Nagy LG, Nolan M, Ohm RA, Patyshakuliyeva A, Rokas A, Ruiz-Dueñas FJ, Sabat G, Salamov A, Samejima M, Schmutz J, Slot JC, St John F, Stenlid J, Sun H, Sun S, Syed K, Tsang A, Wiebenga A, Young D, Pisabarro A, Eastwood DC, Martin F, Cullen D, Grigoriev IV, Hibbett DS (2012) The Paleozoic origin of enzymatic lignin decomposition reconstructed from 31 fungal genomes. Science 336:1715-1719.

Morgenstern I, Powlowski J, Ishmael N, Darmond C, Marqueteau S, Moisan MC, Quenneville G, Tsang A. (2012) A molecular phylogeny of thermophilic fungi. Fungal Biology 116:489-502.

Meurs M-J, Murphy C, Morgenstern I, Naderi N, Butler G, Powlowski J, Tsang A, Witte R (2012) Semantic text mining for lignocellulose research. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 12:S5

Berka RM, Grigoriev IV, Otillar R, Henrissat B, Coutinho PM, Lombard V, Natvig D, Salamov A, Lindquist E, Schmutz J, Grimwood J, Lucas S, Powlowski J, Harris P, Reid I, Bellemare A, Butler G, Ishmael N, John T, de Vries RP, Allijn IE, van den Brink J, Storms R, Taylor D, Ushinsky S, Darmond C, Moisan M-C, Powell AJ, Paulsen IT, Elbourne LDH, Baker SE, Magnusson J, Clutterbuck AJ, Martinez D, Wogulis M, Lopez de Leon A, Rey MW, Tsang A. (2011) Comparative genomic analysis of the thermophilic biomass-degrading fungi Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris.  Nature Biotechnology, 29:922-927.

Qi M, Wang P, O'Toole N, Barboza PS, Ungerfeld E, Leigh MB, Selinger LB, Butler G, Tsang A, McAllister TA, Forster RJ (2011) Snapshot of the eukaryotic gene expression in muskoxen rumen – a metatranscriptomic approach. PLoS One. 6(5):e20521.

Murphy C, Powlowski J, Wu M, Butler G, Tsang A (2011) Curation of characterized glycoside hydrolases of fungal origin. Database (Oxford). 2011:bar020

Andersen MR, Salazar MP, Schaap PJ, van de Vondervoort PJ, Culley D, Thykaer J, Frisvad JC, Nielsen KF, Albang R, Albermann K, Berka RM, Braus GH, Braus-Stromeyer SA, Corrochano LM, Dai Z, van Dijck PW, Hofmann G, Lasure LL, Magnuson JK, Menke H, Meijer M, Meijer SL, Nielsen JB, Nielsen ML, van Ooyen AJ, Pel HJ, Poulsen L, Samson RA, Stam H, Tsang A, van den Brink JM, Atkins A, Aerts A, Shapiro H, Pangilinan J, Salamov A, Lou Y, Lindquist E, Lucas S, Grimwood J, Grigoriev IV, Kubicek CP, Martinez D, van Peij NN, Roubos JA, Nielsen J, Baker SE (2011) Comparative genomics of citric-acid-producing Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 versus enzyme-producing CBS 513.88. Genome Res. 21(6):885-97.

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