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Bioresour Technol. 2012 Jul;116:147-54. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.04.018. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

Lignocellulose modifications by brown rot fungi and their effects, as pretreatments, on cellulolysis.

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Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2004 Folwell Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Brown rot fungi Gloeophyllum trabeum and Postia placenta were used to degrade aspen, spruce, or corn stover over 16 weeks. Decayed residues were saccharified using commercial cellulases or brown rot fungal extracts, loaded at equal but low endoglucanase titers. Saccharification was then repeated for high-yield samples using full strength commercial cellulases. Overall, brown rot pretreatments enhanced yields up to threefold when using either cellulase preparation. In the best case, aspen degraded 2 weeks by G. trabeum yielded 72% glucose-from-cellulose, a 51% yield relative to original glucan. A follow-up trial with more frequent harvests showed similar patterns and demonstrated interplay between tissue modifications and saccharification. Hemicellulose and vanillic acid (G6) or vanillin (G4) lignin residues were good predictors of saccharification potential, the latter notable given lignin's potential active role in brown rot. Results show basic relationships over a brown rot time course and lend targets for controlling an applied bioconversion process.

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