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Title: Chlorination of lignin by ubiquitous fungi has a likely role in global organochlorine production

Author: Ortiz-Bermudez, Patricia; Hirth, Kolby C.; Srebotnik, Ewald; Hammel, Kenneth E.;

Date: 2007

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 104, no. 10 (Mar. 6, 2007): Pages 3895-3900

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Soils and decayed plant litter contain significant quantities of chlorinated aromatic polymers that have a natural but largely unknown origin. We used cupric oxide ligninolysis coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to show that Curvularia inaequalis, a widely distributed litter ascomycete, chlorinated the aromatic rings of lignin in wood that it was degrading. In aspen wood decayed for 24 weeks, two chlorolignin fragments, 5-chlorovanillin and 2-chlorosyringaldehyde, were each found at 10 [mu]g/g of wood (dry weight). These levels resemble those of similar structures generally found in unpolluted environmental samples. Fractionation of the extractable proteins followed by wood contained a previously described C. inaequalis chloroperoxidase that very likely catalyzed lignin chlorination. Chlorolignin produced by this route and humus derived from it are probably significant components of the global chlorine cycle because chloroperoxidase-producing fungi are ubiquitous in decaying lignocellulose and lignin is the earth’s most abundant aromatic substance.

Keywords: Enzymes, industrial applications, fungal enzymes, gas chromatography, organochlorine compounds, chlorination, fungi, industrial applications, lignin, mass spectrometry, fractionation, cupric oxide ligninolysis, aromatic rings, chloroperoxidases, CPO, analysis, chemistry, Curvularia inaequalis

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Ortiz-Bermudez, Patricia; Hirth, Kolby C.; Srebotnik, Ewald; Hammel, Kenneth E. 2007. Chlorination of lignin by ubiquitous fungi has a likely role in global organochlorine production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 104, no. 10 (Mar. 6, 2007): Pages 3895-3900

 


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