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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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Common Button Mushroom Studied for Key Role in Recycling Carbon

Three dimensional model of the Button Mushroom enzyme that metabolizes degraded leaf litter. Daniel Cullen, USDA Forest Service
Three dimensional model of the Button Mushroom enzyme that metabolizes degraded leaf litter. Daniel Cullen, USDA Forest Service
Snapshot: Recent genome studies of Agaricus reveal specialized adaptations to litter- and soil-rich environments which may be used to remediate contaminated soils.
Summary:

Litter-decomposing fungi are common inhabitants of forest ecosystems where they play a key role recycling carbon in humic-rich soils. Aside from their ecological importance, however, relatively little is known of the mechanisms by which partially degraded leaf litter is metabolized by the fungi. Addressing this issue, Forest Service collaborative efforts with the U.S. Department of Energy and an international consortium of laboratories have made considerable progress during the past year. Researchers have analyzed the genome of Agaricus bisporus strains and among the 10,438 predicted genes, hundreds are likely involved in the degradation of lignocellulose. Based on the gene numbers and generally high expression levels in humic-rich environments, heme-thiolate peroxidases probably play an important role during advanced decay. This process is fundamental to carbon cycling between woody litter and soils. In addition to the basic advance in microbial ecology, the ability of these peroxidases to transform aromatic compounds may ultimately be exploited for remediation of organopollutant contaminated soils.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Cullen, Daniel


External Partners:
  • An international consortium of laboratories
  • U.S. Department of Energy

Fiscal Year: 2013
Highlight ID: 445
 
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