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C R Biol. 2011 Nov;334(11):781-8. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Low impact strategies to improve ligninolytic enzyme production in filamentous fungi: the case of laccase in Pleurotus ostreatus.

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Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Naples Federico II, Complesso Universitario Monte S. Angelo, Napoli, Italy.


The ever-increasing demand of laccases for biodelignification, industrial oxidative processes and environmental bioremediation requires the production of large quantities of enzymes at low cost. The present work was carried out to reduce laccase production costs in liquid fermentations of the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus through two different approaches. In the first, screening of fungal spent media as natural laccase inducer was performed, eliminating the presence of potentially toxic/recalcitrant and expensive exogenous inducers in the culture broth. In the latter, breeding of different strains of P. ostreatus, screened for their laccase productivity, was performed by cross-hybridisation, avoiding genetic transformation and mutagenic treatments that could produce organisms not suitable for "natural or safe processes". A laccase production level close to 80,000U/L by combining the two approaches was achieved. Autoinduction and classical breeding represent promising tools for the improvement of fungal fermentation without affecting the disposable costs that also depend on the eco-compatibility of the whole process.

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