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    Author(s): Phil KerstenDan Cullen
    Date: 2013
    Source: B.A. Horwitz et al. (eds.), Genomics of Soil- and Plant-Associated Fungi, Soil Biology 36, 2013; pp. 311-332.
    Publication Series: Book Chapter
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (253.7 KB)


    Woody biomass makes up the major portion of terrestrial carbon, and forest ecosystems contain enormous reservoirs of lignocellulose belowground, in dead trees, and litter. Decomposition of this recalcitrant material and mobilization of nutrients are essential for forest health [reviewed by Boddy and Watkinson (1995)]. Although mechanisms are incompletely understood, initial decomposition of lignocellulose is efficiently carried out by certain filamentous fungi, and the genomes of representative species have been recently sequenced. This review covers these genome studies and the insight they provide regarding lignocellulose degradation. Emphasis is placed on extracellular oxidative systems which are widely thought to be involved in lignin degradation but increasingly implicated in the depolymerization of cellulose and hemicellulose. Areas of uncertainty are highlighted. Detailed descriptions of the voluminous literature are not provided. Instead, interested readers are referred to earlier reviews (Cullen and Kersten 2004; Hatakka and Hammel 2010; Kersten and Cullen 2007).

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Kersten, Phil; Cullen, Dan. 2013. Chapter 13: Recent advances on the genomics of litter- and soil-inhabiting Agaricomycetes. In: Horwitz, B.A.; et al., eds. Genomics of Soil- and Plant-Associated Fungi. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Soil Biology. 36: 311-332. DOI: 10/1007-978-3-642-39339-6_13, ISBN: 978-3-642-39338-9.


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    lignocellulose, lignin, genomes, wood decay, litter decomposition

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