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Title: Evidence from Serpula lacrymans that 2,5-Dimethoxyhydroquinone Is a Lignocellulolytic Agent of Divergent Brown Rot Basidiomycetes

Author: Korripally, Premsagar; Timokhin, Vitaliy I.; Houtman, Carl J.; Mozuch, Michael D.; Hammel, Kenneth E.;

Date: 2013

Source: Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Volume 79, Number 7 2013; pp. 2377-2383.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Basidiomycetes that cause brown rot of wood are essential biomass recyclers in coniferous forest ecosystems and a major cause of failure in wooden structures. Recent work indicates that distinct lineages of brown rot fungi have arisen independently from ligninolytic white rot ancestors via loss of lignocellulolytic enzymes. Brown rot thus proceeds without significant lignin removal, apparently beginning instead with oxidative attack on wood polymers by Fenton reagent produced when fungal hydroquinones or catechols reduce Fe3+ in colonized wood. Since there is little evidence that white rot fungi produce these metabolites, one question is the extent to which independent lineages of brown rot fungi may have evolved different Fe3+ reductants. Recently, the catechol variegatic acid was proposed to drive Fenton chemistry in Serpula lacrymans, a brown rot member of the Boletales (D. C. Eastwood et al., Science 333:762-765, 2011). We found no variegatic acid in wood undergoing decay by S. lacrymans. We found also that variegatic acid failed to reduce in vitro the Fe3+ oxalate chelates that predominate in brown-rotting wood an that it did not drive Fenton chemistry in vitro under hysiological conditions. Instead, the decaying wood contained physiologically significant levels of 2,5- methoxyhydroquinone, a reductant with a demonstrated biodegradative role when wood is attacked by certain brown rot fungi in two other divergent lineages, the Gloeophyllales and Polyporales. Our results suggest that the pathway for 2,5-dimethoxyhydroquinone biosynthesis may have been present in ancestral white rot basidiomycetes but do not rule out the possibility that it appeared multiple times via convergent evolution.

Keywords: wood decay, brown rot fungus

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Korripally, Premsagar; Timokhin, Vitaliy I.; Houtman, Carl J.; Mozuch, Michael D.; Hammel, Kenneth E. 2013. Evidence from Serpula lacrymans that 2,5-dimethoxyhydroquinone is a lignocellulolytic agent of divergent brown rot basidiomycetes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 79(7): 2377-2383.


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