Home page / Fellows & Labs / Fellows & Alumni / George Anasontzis

George Anasontzis

George Anasontzis

session, year:
2015 2nd

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
UMR BBF Biodiversité et biotechnologie fongiques, Marseille

Country of origin:


Country of destination:


Last available contact


Download Curriculum Vitae

Mobility project

Discovery and characterization of novel enzymes, determinastion of their putative role in biomass degradation and in novel biotechnological 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 Bachelor studies at the Biology Department of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece and my Master degree on Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Athens, Greece. At the same institution, I did my PhD on the genetic modification of Fusarium oxysporum - one of the few filamentous fungi capable of breaking down plant biomass and fermenting it to ethanol - to improve its ethanol productivity. During my post doc at Chalmers University of Technology at Gothenburg, Sweden, I worked on a number of projects on the discovery, production and application of carbohydrate active enzymes. My main project was in collaboration with the Food Industries Research Institute, in Hanoi, Vietnam, for the identification of novel biomass-degrading fungi isolated from Vietnam and investigate their potential through different omics approaches. Between 2015 and 2017 I was funded by Aix-Marseille University, AFMB and AgreenSkills programme to work on a number of novel or recently discovered carbohydrate active enzymes that are important in the colonization of plant tissues by saprobic, phytopathogenic, and symbiotic fungi. Since 2017, I am working at DTU, in Denmark, on enzyme discovery and application for macroalgae biorefineries.

Selected publications

Zhang F, Anasontzis GE, Labourel A., et al., 2018. The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor releases a secreted endoglucanase that plays a key role in symbiosis development. New Phytologist (Accepted for publication).

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.

Anasontzis GE, Kourtoglou E, Villas-Boas SG, Hatzinikolaou DG and Christakopoulos P., 2016. Metabolic Engineering of Fusarium oxysporum to Improve Its Ethanol-Producing Capability. Front. Microbiol. 7:632. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00632.

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. Doi:10.1016/j. fgb.2014.07.011.

Anasontzis GE., Zerva A., Stathopoulou P. M., Haralampidis K., Diallinas G., Karagouni A.D., Hatzinikolaou D.G., 2011. Homologous overexpression of xylanase in Fusarium oxysporum increases ethanol productivity during the simultaneous saccharification/ fermentation of lignocellulosics, Journal of Biotechnology, 152 (1-2): 16-23

Talks in annual meetings

Novel fungal enzymes for biorefinery applications
2017 / P5 Products and Technology / by George Anasontzis / Fellows Speed Presentation


carbohydrate-active enzymes, fungi, lignocellulose, plant cell wall biomass