Capacity of fungi for biodegradation of cellulose wastes generated at manned space flight
Authors: Krumova, E., Najdenski, H., Dishlijska, V., Abrashev, R., Stoyancheva, G., Gocheva, Y., Kostadinova, N., Miteva-Staleva, J., Spasova, B., Angelova, M.
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The amount of waste generated on manned long-duration space missions away from Earth orbit creates the daunting challenge of how to manage the waste through reuse, rejection, or recycling. Microbial degradation, for both economic and ecological reasons, has become an increasingly popular alternative for the treatment of cellulose containing organic waste in the space stations. This approach offers several advantages: low energy, mild operation conditions, control on biological hazard of the wastes, etc. Fungi are the main cellulose-degrading microorganisms in the nature and their cellulolytic features are object of intensive studies. This review describes the ability of anaerobic, aerobic, and microaerophilic fungi to degrade organic wastes generated during manned space flight.