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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Jun;14(3):264-70. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Plant pathogens as a source of diverse enzymes for lignocellulose digestion.

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Biological Integrated Pest Management Research Unit, Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States.


The plant cell wall is a major barrier that many plant pathogens must surmount for successful invasion of their plant hosts. Full genome sequencing of a number of plant pathogens has revealed often large, complex, and redundant enzyme systems for degradation of plant cell walls. Recent surveys have noted that plant pathogenic fungi are highly competent producers of lignocellulolytic enzymes, and their enzyme activity patterns reflect host specificity. We propose that plant pathogens may contribute to biofuel production as diverse sources of accessory enzymes for more efficient conversion of lignocellulose into fermentable sugars.

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