Research Highlights

 
Publication Year: 2017
Crystallographic comparison of the GlcA-independent CaXyn30A aglycone region with the ligand bound GlcA-dependent CtXyn30A structure.
Highlight ID: 1296
Enzymatic conversion of xylan into valuable products.

Xylan represents a vast store of potential value but rather than seeing beneficial use, much of this reservoir is lost in catastrophic wildfires that result in significant property loss and tragic los ...
White rot fungus, Panerochaete chrysosporium colonizing wood chips.
Highlight ID: 1295
Genetic basis of lignocellulose degradation

Exploiting the recent availability of fungal genomes, Forest Service researchers have developed computational approaches for the identification of key wood decay enzymes. ...
 
Publication Year: 2016
Comparative expression levels of Paenibacillus sp JDR-2 polysaccharide utilization genes when grown on select plant-derived substrates. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 663
Characterization of Microbial Biocatalysts in Lignocellulosic Utilization

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass would benefit from development of second generation bacterial biocatalysts. The bacterium Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR2, originally isolated from decaying swee ...
Proposed Van der waals interactions between a xylooligosaccharide and an appendage depended xylan degrading enzyme. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 662
Development of Enzymes for use in Lignocellulose Processing

The ultimate best use of lignocellulose allows for the selective extraction of defined value streams. To facilitate this, Forest Service research strives to develop new enzymes with unique capabilitie ...
Postia, a genus of brown rot fungi. Dan Cullen, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 665
Fungi Use Multiple Strategies for Deconstruction of Woody Biomass

A diverse array of enzymes catalyze the bioconversion of wood toward biofuels and other high-value products. ...
Researchers are developing improved methods for processing cellulose nanofibrils. Rob Sabo, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 653
Improving the Hydrolysis and Fibrillation of Wood Into Cellulose Nanomaterials

Cellulose nanomaterials have been receiving an increasing amount of interest from both the scientific and industrial communities because of their interesting properties, including good strength, absor ...
 
Publication Year: 2015
The dots are microscopic beads and the lines are fungal hyphae. The beads turn from red to green when exposed to oxidation. Notice that the bead next to the fungus is more green than the others. USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 618
How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were able to follow oxidation on a microscopic level. The infor ...
Two-dimensional rendering of three-dimensional chemistry of poplar wood with representative spectra of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. Barbara Illman and USDA Forst Service
Highlight ID: 620
Imaging Wood Chemicals in Three Dimensions

For the first time, chemicals in wood were visualized in 3-dimensions. This advance in chemical analysis will help clarify scientists' understanding of wood architecture, strength properties, durabili ...
The structure model of the new glycoside hydrolase family 30-8 (GH30-8) xylanase (green) overlaid with the previously determined protein structure of a canonical GH30-8 xylanase (blue) indicating that although the new xylanase is functionally unique, it does not structurally differ from the canonical GH30-8 xylanases (top). An alignment showing the specific region of primary amino acid sequence containing the altered sequence (red boxes) attributed to the observed difference in mode of action of this new enzyme against its xylan substrate. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 613
Protein Structure and Biochemical Characterization of a Novel Functioning Xylanase

Scientists identified and characterized a xylanase with unique function that may have applications in processing of woody biomass substrate. ...
 
Publication Year: 2013
Three dimensional model of the Button Mushroom enzyme that metabolizes degraded leaf litter. Daniel Cullen, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 445
Common Button Mushroom Studied for Key Role in Recycling Carbon

Recent genome studies of Agaricus reveal specialized adaptations to litter- and soil-rich environments which may be used to remediate contaminated soils. ...
FPL researchers developed a new method for producing a suitable component of bioplastics from glucose, which can be derived from wood and other forms of biomass. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 437
Enzyme Combo Results in Bioplastics Composite

Developing bioplastics as a means of moving away from non-renewable, petroleum-based products has many economic and environmental benefits. Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory recently devel ...
Fruit bodies of sequenced wood decay fungi Bjerkandera adusta (right image) and Ganoderma species (left image). Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Highlight ID: 446
Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi

Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products. ...
Image 1: A picture of PbXynA1 (an xylanases enzyme) with the a xylooligosaccharide (sugar polymer) bound into the active site. Image 2: A close up revealing a large pocket not previously observed in other xylanases (enzymes) of this family. Franz St John, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 452
Researchers Determine the Structure of Bacterial Protein Involved in Biomass Conversion

Researchers structurally characterized a bacterial protein involved in biomass degradation. The knowledge obtained from this novel protein suggest that it may function better than comparable enzymes i ...
 
Publication Year: 2012
Wood decay fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora colonizing wood vessels. Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Highlight ID: 9
Hidden Lives of Wood Decay Fungi Uncovered by Genome Sequencing

The decoded genomes of 12 species reveal a complex repertoire of proteins involved in the deconstruction of key polymers within wood cell walls ...
A highly unusual yeast, Spathaspora passalidarum, is benefitting biofuels production. Tom Kuster, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 11
Novel Yeast Makes Bioconversion Faster and Less Expensive

Faster, cheaper biofuel production is possible for commercial use ...
 
Publication Year: 2010

Highlight ID: 178
Fast Forward' Genetics for Renewable Fuels

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory used mutagenesis, strain selection and genetic manipulation over a period of seven years to develop improved strains of yeasts that will produce renewable ...
The edible black poplar mushroom, Agrocybe aegerita. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 176
Water, Air, and Soil

Forest fungi perform an essential role in recycling woody plant debris and have many potential applications in biotechnology. In 2009, a Forest Products Laboratory chemist worked for ten months as a S ...

Team Members

NameJob TitlePhone

Crooks, M.E. Casey
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Research Microbiologist608-231-9251

Cullen, Daniel
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Research Microbiologist608-231-9468

Dietrich, Diane
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soil scientist608-231-9490

Gaskell, Jill
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Chemist (Volunteer)608-231-9463

Griffin, Janet L.
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Program Support Assistant608-231-9466

Hammel, Kenneth E.
view profile »
Research Chemist608-231-9528

Kersten, Philip J.
view profile »
Research Microbiologist608-231-9470

Mozuch, Michael
view profile »
Chemist608-231-9469

St. John, Franz
view profile »
Research Microbiologist608-231-9438

Products (Publications & Patents)

Below are the 50 most recent products author or co-authored by researchers of this unit that have been posted, sorted by publication year and title. To access the complete repository of FPL products, click here.
Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2019Xylanase pretreatment of wood fibers for producing cellulose nanofibrils: a comparison of different enzyme preparations

09/05/19

2018A plasmid borne, functionally novel glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 endoxylanase from solventogenic Clostridium

12/20/18

2018Draft genome sequence of Burkholderia cepacia ATCC 17759, a polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate copolymer-producing bacterium

10/01/18

2018Fungal lignin peroxidase does not produce the veratryl alcohol cation radical as a diffusible ligninolytic oxidant

07/26/18

2018Multi-omic analyses of extensively decayed Pinus contorta reveal expression of a diverse array of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes

10/02/18

2018Substrate-specific differential gene expression and RNA editing in the brown rot fungus Fomitopsis pinicola

09/28/18

2017An optical method for carbon dioxide isotopes and mole fractions in small gas samples: tracing microbial respiration from soil, litter, and lignin.

10/05/17

2017Draft genome sequence of a monokaryotic model brown-rot fungus Postia (Rhodonia) placenta SB12

09/06/17

2017Exploring the hypothesis that limiting diffusion of fungal oxidants underlies decay resistance in acetylated wood

10/06/17

2017GH115 α-glucuronidase and GH11 xylanase from Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2: potential roles in processing glucuronoxylans

08/31/18

2017GH30 glucuronoxylan-specific xylanase from Streptomyces turgidiscabies C56

12/20/18

2017Xylanase 30 A from Clostridium thermocellum functions as a glucuronoxylan xylanohydrolase

10/06/17

2016A 1,3-1,4-β-glucan utilization regulon in Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR-2

09/30/16

2016Acridine Orange Indicates Early Oxidation of Wood Cell Walls by Fungi

09/07/16

2016Construction of a genetic linkage map and analysis of quantitative trait loci associated with the agronomically important traits of Pleurotus eryngii

07/12/16

2016Draft genome sequence of the white-rot fungus Obba rivulosa 3A-2

09/29/16

2016Endoglucanase post-milling treatment for producing cellulose nanofibers from bleached eucalyptus fibers by a supermasscolloider

07/15/16

2016Gene expression patterns of wood decay fungi Postia placenta and Phanerochaete chrysosporium are influenced by wood substrate composition during degradation

09/22/16

2016Genetic bases of fungal white rot wood decay predicted by phylogenomic analysis of correlated gene-phenotype evolution

10/06/17

2016Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of carbohydrate utilization by Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2: systems for bioprocessing plant polysaccharides

09/30/16

2016Heterologous production and characterization of two glyoxal oxidases from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus

09/22/16

2016Iron addition to soil specifically stabilized lignin

05/24/16

2016Localizing gene regulation reveals a staggered wood decay mechanism for the brown rot fungus Postia placenta

07/05/17

2016Prospects for bioprocess development based on recent genome advances in lignocellulose degrading basidiomycetes

09/29/16

2016Transcriptome and secretome analyses of the wood decay fungus Wolfiporia cocos support alternative mechanisms of lignocellulose conversion

09/22/16

2015Basidiomycete DyPs: Genomic diversity, structural-functional aspects, reaction mechanism and environmental significance

12/07/15

2015Chemistry of wood in 3D: new infrared imaging

12/15/15

2015Contrasting Patterns of Diterpene Acid Induction by Red Pine and White Spruce to Simulated Bark Beetle Attack, and Interspecific Differences in Sensitivity Among Fungal Associates

07/07/15

2015Lignin decomposition is sustained under fluctuating redox conditions in humid tropical forest soils

09/25/15

2015Physical and Mechanical Properties of Cellulose Nanofibril Films from Bleached Eucalyptus Pulp by Endoglucanase Treatment and Microfluidization

09/25/15

2015Production of cellulose nanofibrils from bleached eucalyptus fibers by hyperthermostable endoglucanase treatment and subsequent microfluidization

02/11/15

2015Prospects and challenges for fungal metatranscriptomics of complex communities

02/11/15

2015Regulation of Gene Expression during the Onset of Ligninolytic Oxidation by Phanerochaete chrysosporium on Spruce Wood

12/15/15

20142D-NMR Demonstration of Lignin Removal from Wood and Non-wood plant Feedstocks by Fungal Versatile Peroxidase

10/01/14

20143D FT-IR imaging spectroscopy of phase-separation in a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/poly(L-lactic acid) blend

07/20/15

2014A Highly Diastereoselective Oxidant Contributes to Ligninolysis by the White Rot Basidiomycete Ceriporiopsis subvermispora

10/01/14

2014A novel member of glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 with altered substrate specificity

07/16/15

2014Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea Genome, Transcriptome and Secretome Provides Insight into Its Pioneer Colonization Strategies of Wood

12/22/14

2014Chapter 3: Wood Decay

09/16/14

2014Copper radical oxidases and related extracellular oxidoreductases of wood-decay Agaricomycetes

09/17/14

2014Engineering the Xylan Utilization System in Bacillus subtilis for Production of Acidic Xylooligosaccharides

09/22/14

2014Ethanol production from non-detoxified whole slurry of sulfite-pretreated empty fruit bunches at a low cellulase loading

07/18/14

2014Extensive sampling of basidiomycete genomes demonstrates inadequacy of the white-rot/brown-rot paradigm for wood decay fungi

09/17/14

2014Influence of Populus Genotype on Gene Expression by the Wood Decay Fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium

09/17/14

2014Ligninolytic peroxidase genes in the oyster mushroom genome: heterologous expression, molecular structure, catalytic and stability properties, and lignin-degrading ability

09/16/14

2014Temporal Alterations in the Secretome of the Selective Ligninolytic Fungus Ceriporipsis subvermispora during growth on Aspen Wood Reveal this Organism's Strategy for Degrading Lighnocellulose

09/17/14

2014Transcriptomic Analysis of Xylan Utilization Systems in Paenibacillus sp

07/20/15

2014What Basidiomycete Genomes Teach us about Wood Biodegradation Mechanisms

10/01/14

20133D spectral imaging with synchrotron Fourier transform infrared spectro-microtomography

10/20/14

2013A comparative genomic analysis of the oxidative enzymes potentially involved in lignin degradation by Agaricus bisporus

09/05/13

2013Chapter 13: Recent Advances on the Genomics of Litter- and Soil-Inhabiting Agaricomycetes

09/30/13

2013Chapter 5: Organopollutant Degradation by Wood Decay Basidiomycetes

11/18/14

2013Chapter 6: Prehydrolysis Pulping with Fermentation Coproducts

09/30/13

2013Chemically imaging the effects of the addition of nanofibrillated cellulose on the distribution of poly(acrylic acid) in poly(vinyl alcohol)

04/02/13

2013Differential sensitivity of polyhydroxyalkanoate producing bacteria to fermentation inhibitors and comparison of polyhydroxybutyrate production from Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas pseudoflava

08/02/13

2013Evidence from Serpula lacrymans that 2,5-Dimethoxyhydroquinone Is a Lignocellulolytic Agent of Divergent Brown Rot Basidiomycetes

09/05/13

2013Formation of a tyrosine adduct involved in lignin degradation by Trametopsis cervina lignin peroxidase: a novel peroxidase activation mechanism

09/09/13

2013Genomewide analysis of polysaccharides degrading enzymes in 11 white- and brown-rot Polyporales provides insight into mechanisms of wood decay

09/09/14

2013Integration of Chemical and Biological Catalysis: Production of Furylglycolic Acid from Glucose via Cortalcerone

02/24/14

2013Nondestructive chemical imaging of wood at the micro-scale: advanced technology to complement macro-scale evaluations

10/24/13

2013Phenotypic selection of a wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain for simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation of AFEX pretreated corn stover

09/13/13

2013Spatial mapping of extracellular oxidant production by a white rot basidiomycete on wood reveals details of ligninolytic mechanism

05/14/13

2013Xylanase supplementation on enzymatic saccharification of dilute acid pretreated poplars at different severities

10/22/13

2012Bioconversion of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) hemicellulose hydrolysate to ethanol by Scheffersomyces stipitis CBS6054

09/27/12

2012Characterisation of the gene cluster for L-rhamnose catabolism in the yeast Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis

09/27/12

2012Cofermentation of Glucose, Xylose, and Cellobiose by the Beetle-Associated Yeast Spathaspora passalidarum

09/27/12

2012Comparative genomics of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora and Phanerochaete chrysosporium provide insight into selective ligninolysis

09/18/12

2012Complete genome sequence of Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR-2

09/27/12

2012Diffraction-limited IR Microspectroscopy with IRENI

12/04/14

2012Evolutionary engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for efficient aerobic xylose consumption

09/27/12

2012Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

11/06/12

2012Insight into tradeoff between wood decay and parasitism from the genome of a fungal forest pathogen

06/12/12

2012Lignin-degrading Peroxidases from Genome of Selective Ligninolytic Fungus Ceriporiopsis subverispora

10/01/12

2012Novel structural features of xylanase A1 from Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2

08/02/13

2012Response surface methodology (RSM) to evaluate moisture effects on corn stover in recovering xylose by DEO hydrolysis

09/27/12

2012The Paleozoic Origin of Enzymatic Lignin Decomposition Reconstructed from 31 Fungal Genomes

08/10/12

2011Comparative evaluation of manganese peroxidase- and Mn(III)-initiated peroxidation of C18 unsaturated fatty acids by different methods

11/08/11

2011Comparative genomics of xylose-fermenting fungi for enhanced biofuel production

11/16/11

2011Dilute Acid Pretreatment of Corncob for Efficient Sugar Production

05/02/11

2011Dilute oxalic acid pretreatment for biorefining giant reed (Arundo donax L.)

11/16/11

2011Efficiencies of acid catalysts in the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass over a range of combined severity factors

11/08/11

2011Evaluation of Ethanol Production from Corncob Using Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis CBS 6054 by Volumetric Scale-up

11/16/11

2011Exploring new strategies for cellulosic biofuels production

10/01/12

2011Fueling the future with fungal genomics

11/08/11

2011Interactions of fungi from fermented sausage with regenerated cellulose casings

11/25/11

2011Ligand bound structures of a glycosyl hydrolase family 30 glucuronoxylan xylanohydrolase

09/30/11

2011Multidimensional NMR analysis reveals truncated lignin structures in wood decayed by the brown rot basidiomycete Postia placenta

11/07/11

2011Multidimensional NMR analysis reveals truncated lignin structures in wood decayed by the brown rot basidiomycete Postia placenta

10/23/11

2011Oxidative cleavage of non-phenolic β-0-4 lignin model dimers by an extracellular aromatic peroxygenase

09/07/11

2011Preparation of human drug metabolites using fungal peroxygenases

10/01/12

2011Proteomic and functional analysis of the Cellulase system Expressed by Postia placenta during Brown Rot of Solid Wood

11/25/11

2011Pseudomonas sax Genes Overcome Aliphatic Isothiocyanate - Mediated Non-Host Resistance in Arabidopsis

11/25/11

2011Scale-up study of oxalic acid pretreatment of agricultural lignocellulosic biomass for the production of bioethanol

11/08/11

2011Sequencing the fungal tree of life

11/08/11

2011Significant Alteration of Gene Expression in Wood Decay Fungi postia placenta and Phanerochaete chrysosporium by Plant Species

07/12/11

2011The Plant Cell Wall-Decomposing Machinery Underlies the Functional Diversity of Forest Fungi

11/16/11

2011Understanding LiP Promoters from Phanerochaete chrysosporium: A Bioinformatic Analysis

09/18/12

2011Xylitol production from DEO hydrolysate of corn stover by Pichia stipitis YS-30

11/16/11

2010Comparative Transcriptome and Secretome Analysis of Wood Decay Fungi Postia placenta and Phanerochaete chrysosporium

07/15/10

2010Consolidation of glycosyl hydrolase family 30: A dual domain 4/7 hydrolase family consisting of two structurally distinct groups

11/16/11

Research Projects

Below are 12 research projects associated with this research unit.
Project NumberTitleProject Dates
FPL-4712-1-TBioconversion

07-31-2002 - 07-30-2007

FPL-4712-4ABioconversion of thinnings

07-23-2007 - 07-22-2012

FPL-4712-1ABioconversion of wood sugars to fuels and other chemicals

07-23-2007 - 07-22-2012

FPL-4712-1BBioconversion of wood sugars to fuels and other chemicals

10-01-2012 - 09-30-2019

FPL-4712-3AEnzymatic and microbial processing of wood and wood fiber to fuels and other chemicals

07-23-2007 - 07-22-2012

FPL-4712-3BEnzymatic and microbial processing of wood and wood fiber to fuels, nanocellulose and other chemicals

10-01-2012 - 09-30-2019

FPL-4712-3-TEnzymatic processing of wood fiber

07-31-2002 - 07-30-2007

FPL-4712-4-TOptimize lignocelluose-degrading fungi for bioprocessing and bioconversion of wood

07-31-2002 - 07-30-2007

FPL-4712-4BOptimizing lignocellulose-degrading fungi for bioprocessing and bioconversion of wood requires understanding the functional genomics of fung

10-01-2012 - 09-30-2019

FPL-4712-2-TOxidative systems of wood decay fungi

07-31-2002 - 07-30-2007

FPL-4712-2AOxidative systems of wood decay fungi

07-23-2007 - 07-22-2012

FPL-4712-2BOxidative systems of wood decay fungi

10-01-2012 - 09-30-2019

Partnerships

fplMaking Ethanol from Biomass to Meet Energy Demands

Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) researchers have had proven and continuing success working with commercial partners to improve methods of converting biomass to alternative fuels such as ethanol. One important goal of these collaborations is to promote biomass as a way to meet increasing worldwide energy demands.

Xethanol Corporation, an ethanol producer with facilities in Iowa, acquired licensing rights to a patented process developed by FPL and the University of Wisconsin and signed a cooperative research and development agreement to solidify the partnership. The patented process aids in the conversion of xylose, a sugar found in waste biomass and corn fiber, to ethanol and xylitol, a sweetener used in food processing.

The conversion takes place through a fermentation process in which specialized yeast strains break down the xylose. The process reduces the time and labor involved in the critical task of isolating and screening yeast strains for effective fermentation agents and can be used for conversion of both agricultural waste and woody biomass.

Collaborative research in this area is continuing with a new partnership recently formed between FPL and EdeniQ, a company that focuses on turning abundant, non-food biomass into fuels. Researchers are developing yeasts used to ferment xylose and glucose from biomass for commercial ethanol production.

Lab Notes - FPL's online news feed

Below are the 2 most recent Lab Notes blog postings pertaining to this research unit.

TitleDate Posted
Pine log extensively colonized by Phlebiopsis gigantea showing fruiting structures from which spores are released. Photo: Robert Blanchette and Benjamin Held, University of Minnesota.Genetics Provide Valuable Insight into Mysterious Decay Fungi

Valuable insights to developing effective biological control agents for protecting conifer trees from root rot have been discovered...
01-02-2015
Pulp NonFiction: Fungal Analysis Reveals Clues for Targeted Biomass Deconstruction

Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV's "Hoarders." Dan Cullen, research microbiologist at the FPL, is part of an international team of scientists studying the ...
05-02-2012