BackgroundPlant biomass conversion for green chemistry and bio-energy is a current challenge for a modern sustainable bioeconomy. The complex polyaromatic lignin polymers in raw biomass feedstocks (i.e., agriculture and forestry by-products) are major obstacles for biomass conversions. White-rot fungi are wood decayers able to degrade all polymers from lignocellulosic biomass including cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. The white-rot fungus Polyporus brumalis efficiently breaks down lignin and is regarded as having a high potential for the initial treatment of plant biomass in its conversion to bio-energy. Here, we describe the extraordinary ability of P. brumalis for lignin degradation using its enzymatic arsenal to break down wheat straw, a lignocellulosic substrate that is considered as a biomass feedstock worldwide.
ResultsWe performed integrative multi-omics analyses by combining data from the fungal genome, transcriptomes, and secretomes. We found that the fungus possessed an unexpectedly large set of genes coding for Class II peroxidases involved in lignin degradation (19 genes) and GMC oxidoreductases/dehydrogenases involved in generating the hydrogen peroxide required for lignin peroxidase activity and promoting redox cycling of the fungal enzymes involved in oxidative cleavage of lignocellulose polymers (36 genes). The examination of interrelated multi-omics patterns revealed that eleven Class II Peroxidases were secreted by the fungus during fermentation and eight of them where tightly co-regulated with redox cycling enzymatic partners.
ConclusionAs a peculiar feature of P. brumalis, we observed gene family extension, up-regulation and secretion of an abundant set of versatile peroxidases and manganese peroxidases, compared with other Polyporales species. The orchestrated secretion of an abundant set of these delignifying enzymes and redox cycling enzymatic partners could contribute to the delignification capabilities of the fungus. Our findings highlight the diversity of wood decay mechanisms present in Polyporales and the potentiality of further exploring this taxonomic order for enzymatic functions of biotechnological interest.