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Genome sequencing and functional characterization of a Dictyopanus pusillus fungal extract offers a promising alternative for lignocellulose pretreatment of oil palm residues

By Andrés M. Rueda, Yossef López de los Santos, Antony T Vincent, Myriam Létourneau, Inés Hernández, Clara I. Sánchez, Daniel Molina V., Sonia A. Ospina, Frédéric J. Veyrier, Nicolas Doucet

Posted 23 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.23.887034

The pretreatment of biomass is a critical requirement of bio-renewable fuel production from lignocellulose. Although current processes primarily involve chemical and physical approaches, the biological breakdown of lignin using enzymes and microorganisms is quickly becoming an interesting eco-friendly alternative to classical processes. As a result, bioprospection of wild fungi from naturally occurring lignin-rich sources remains a suitable method to uncover and isolate new species exhibiting ligninolytic activity. In this study, wild species of white rot fungi were collected from Colombian forests based on their natural wood decay ability and high capacity to secrete oxidoreductases with high affinity for phenolic polymers such as lignin. Based on high activity obtained from solid-state fermentation using a lignocellulose source from oil palm as matrix, we describe the isolation and whole-genome sequencing of Dictyopanus pusillus , a wild basidiomycete fungus exhibiting ABTS oxidation as an indication of laccase activity. Functional characterization of a crude enzymatic extract identified laccase activity as the main enzymatic contributor to fungal extracts, an observation supported by the identification of 13 putative genes encoding for homologous laccases in the genome. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first report of an enzymatic extract exhibiting laccase activity in the Dictyopanus genera, offering means to exploit this species and its enzymes for the delignification process of lignocellulosic by-products from oil palm.

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