Jon Magnuson

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Research Focus

Jon Magnuson is a biochemist with more than 30 years of research experience studying enzymes and metabolic pathways in bacteria and fungi. He is working on utilizing filamentous fungi in the development of processes for converting renewable biomass to fuels, chemicals and enzymes. This research involves the discovery and manipulation of genes encoding the enzymes of biosynthetic pathways, the regulation of those pathways and associated processes, and transport of metabolites and products across compartments and secretion form the cell. Complementary to this work is his interest in fungal genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and modeling for more efficient identification of genetic targets and foundational understanding of fungal systems under the stress of producing high concentrations of desirable biofuels or bioproducts.

Projects in the Agile BioFoundry

Within the Agile BioFoundry, Dr. Magnuson focuses on leading research and development of fungal hosts for production of bioproduct and biofuel targets by utilization of the DBTL approach. The first tier filamentous fungal host is the acidotolerant species Aspergillus pseudoterreus, which is being employed to produce organic acids without pH neutralization, thus avoiding salt formation in downstream processing. In addition, he directs the ‘omics and modeling activities at PNNL that supports testing and learning about the other Host-Target pairs in the Agile BioFoundry. Finally, he directs the scale up and testing of fungal bioprocesses at intermediate scales in stirred tank reactors to support the scaling and integration task.

  • Perform pathway design, and subsequent building of fungal strains for organic acid production
  • Perform testing of fungal strains via comparative transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics analyses of fungal native strains vs. engineered organic acid production strains in order to identify genes involved in efficient biosynthesis and secretion of those organic acids and suggest further refinements
  • Establish and utilize genome based modeling frameworks for A. pseudoterreus and other organisms
  • Utilize stirred tank bioreactors for testing and scaling of filamentous fungal bioprocesses

Featured Publications

Reilly MC, Amaike Campen S, Baker SE, Gladden JM, Magnuson JK: Cloning and expression of heterologous cellulases and enzymes in Aspergillus niger. In: Methods in Molecular Biology. Edited by Lubeck M. Basel, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG; 2017.

Yaegashi J, Kirby J, Ito M, Sun J, Dutta T, Mirsiaghi M, Sundstrom ER, Rodriguez A, Baidoo E, Tanjore D et al: Rhodosporidium toruloides: a new platform organism for conversion of lignocellulose into terpene biofuels and bioproducts. Biotechnology for biofuels 2017, 10:241.

Dai Z, Deng S, Culley DE, Bruno KS, Magnuson JK: Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of oleaginous yeast Lipomyces species. Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2017, 101(15):6099-6110.

Dai Z, Aryal UK, Shukla A, Qian WJ, Smith RD, Magnuson JK, Adney WS, Beckham GT, Brunecky R, Himmel ME et al: Impact of alg3 gene deletion on growth, development, pigment production, protein secretion, and functions of recombinant Trichoderma reesei cellobiohydrolases in Aspergillus niger. Fungal genetics and biology 2013, 61:120-132.

Andersen MR, Salazar MP, Schaap PJ, van de Vondervoort PJ, Culley D, Thykaer J, Frisvad JC, Nielsen KF, Albang R, Albermann K et al: Comparative genomics of citric-acid-producing Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 versus enzyme-producing CBS 513.88. Genome research 2011, 21(6):885-897.

Magnuson JK, Lasure LL: Organic Acid Production by Filamentous Fungi. In: Advances in Fungal Biotechnology for Industry, Agriculture, and Medicine. Edited by Tkacz JS, Lange L. New York, NY, USA: Kluwer Academic; 2004: 307-340.