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Title: Localizing gene regulation reveals a staggered wood decay mechanism for the brown rot fungus Postia placenta

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113(39): 10968-10973.

Author(s)Zhang, Jiwei; Presley, Gerald N.; Hammel, Kenneth E.; Ryu, Jae-San; Menke, Jon R.; Figueroa, Melania; Hu, Dehong; Orr, Galya; Schilling, Jonathan S.

Publication Year: 2016  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4712-2B

Abstract: Wood-degrading brown rot fungi are essential recyclers of plant biomass in forest ecosystems. Their efficient cellulolytic systems, which have potential biotechnological applications, apparently depend on a combination of two mechanisms: lignocellulose oxidation (LOX) by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and polysaccharide hydrolysis by a limited set of glycoside hydrolases (GHs). Given that ROS are strongly oxidizing and nonselective, these two steps are likely segregated. A common hypothesis has been that brown rot fungi use a concentration gradient of chelated metal ions to confine ROS generation inside wood cell walls before enzymes can infiltrate. We examined an alternative: that LOX components involved in ROS production are differentially expressed by brown rot fungi ahead of GH components. We used spatial mapping to resolve a temporal sequence in Postia placenta, sectioning thin wood wafers colonized directionally. Among sections, we measured gene expression by whole-transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-seq) and assayed relevant enzyme activities. We found a marked pattern of LOX up-regulation in a narrow (5-mm, 48-h) zone at the hyphal front, which included many genes likely involved in ROS generation. Up-regulation of GH5 endoglucanases and many other GHs clearly occurred later, behind the hyphal front, with the notable exceptions of two likely expansins and a GH28 pectinase. Our results support a staggered mechanism for brown rot that is controlled by differential expression rather than microenvironmental gradients. This mechanism likely results in an oxidative pretreatment of lignocellulose, possibly facilitated by expansin- and pectinase-assisted cell wall swelling, before cellulases and hemicellulases are deployed for polysaccharide depolymerization.

Keywords: Biodegradation; bioconversion; decomposition; lignocellulose; cellulase

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 936 kb(s)

Date posted: 07/05/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 85016
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Hammel, Kenneth E.
Research Chemist

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