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Improved Efficiency in Screening for Lignin-Modifying Peroxidases and Laccases of Basidiomycetes

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 2 ]


Anu Kinnunen, Pekka Maijala, Paivi JArvinen and Annele Hatakka*   Pages 105 - 115 ( 11 )


Background: Wood rotting white-rot and litter-decomposing basidiomycetes form a huge reservoir of oxidative enzymes, needed for applications in the pulp and paper and textile industries and for bioremediation.

Objective: The aim was (i) to achieve higher throughput in enzyme screening through miniaturization and automatization of the activity assays, and (ii) to discover fungi which produce efficient oxidoreductases for industrial purposes.

Methods: Miniaturized activity assays mostly using dyes as substrate were carried out for lignin peroxidase, versatile peroxidase, manganese peroxidase and laccase. Methods were validated and 53 species of basidiomycetes were screened for lignin modifying enzymes when cultivated in liquid mineral, soy, peptone and solid state oat husk medium.

Results: Manganese peroxidases were the most common enzymes produced by 96% of the species. They typically had acidic pH optima, although Hyphodontia sp., Pleurotus pulmonarius and Trametes ochracea produced enzymes highly active at pH 7. Versatile peroxidase was produced by 66% of the fungi with efficient production from Phlebia radiata, P. pulmonarius and Galerina marginata. Novel lignin peroxidase producing fungi Cylindrobasidium evolvens and Daedaleopsis septentrionalis were found among the 26% of the species showing here lignin peroxidase production. Laccase was shown in 92% of the species. Several fungi produced laccase active at pH 7, which is noteworthy because usually laccases of white-rot fungi are efficient and relevant for many industrial applications.

Conclusion: Automated screening allowed us to monitor many specific enzyme activities and extend the range of assay conditions from relatively small fungal cultivation sample volumes.


Enzyme production, white-rot fungi, lignin peroxidase, versatile peroxidase, manganese peroxidase, laccase.


Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, School of Food and Agriculture, Applied University of Seinäjoki, Seinajoki, Centre for Drug Research, Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Helsinki University, P.O. Box: 56, 00014 Helsinki

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