Dosoretz, Carlos G. Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
Salame, Tomer M. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
Hadar, Yitzhak Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Lignin degradation
- Lignin-degrading enzymes
- Applications of white rot fungi
- Genomic research
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Fungi that are able to degrade lignin (a polymer that together with cellulose forms the woody cell walls of plants and cements them together). The plant cell wall consists of a multilayer structure in which cellulose and hemicellulose are intimately associated with lignin. Lignin provides strength and impermeability, and serves as a barrier against microbial attack across the cell wall. In contrast to other natural polymers composed of regularly interlinked, repetitive monomers, lignin is an amorphous polymer made of randomly distributed phenylpropanoid monomers. Lignin production is estimated at 20 × 106 megatons annually; lignin therefore plays a central role in the global renewable carbon cycle. Its structure imposes unusual restrictions on its biodegradability. See also: Biodegradation; Cell walls (plant); Cellulose; Fungal ecology; Fungi; Lignin; Polymer
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