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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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Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi

Fruit bodies of sequenced wood decay fungi Bjerkandera adusta (right image) and Ganoderma species (left image). Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Fruit bodies of sequenced wood decay fungi Bjerkandera adusta (right image) and Ganoderma species (left image). Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Snapshot: Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products.
Summary:

Common inhabitants of forest ecosystems, wood decay fungi play a pivotal role in recycling carbon and other nutrients. Many of these fungi efficiently depolymerize all components of wood cell walls including the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. In recent years, genome analyses have contributed to our understanding of the process, but the precise mechanisms remain poorly understood. Addressing this issue, Forest Service collaborative efforts with the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Tokyo, Clark University, and Aix-Marseille University identified hundreds of enzymes involved in the deconstruction of Aspen cell walls. Hydrolytic and oxidative mechanisms were implicated in the conversion of polysaccharides to small molecular weight products, many of which are of high value for chemical and fuels production. Beyond potential applications, the reports advance fundmental understanding of the evolution of the lignin degrading fungi and their key role in forest nutrient cycling.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Cullen, Daniel


External Partners:
  • Aix-Marseille University
  • Clark University
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • University of Tokyo

Fiscal Year: 2013
Highlight ID: 446
 
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