Phenol oxidase activity and one-electron oxidation activity in wood degradation by soft-rot deuteromycetes

IRG/WP 07-10615

H Tanaka, M Yamakawa, S Itakura, A Enoki

Wood degradation, one-electron oxidation activity as assayed by ethylene generation from 2-keto-4-thiomethylbutyric acid (KTBA), and phenol oxidase activity were measured in cultures of six deuteromyce fungi, with glucose or wood as the carbon source. The four fungi that degraded Japanese beech wood had higher one-electron oxidation activities in wood-containing cultures than in glucose-containing cultures. These four fungi also had measurable phenol oxidase activity in wood-containing cultures, but not in glucose-containing cultures. The two mould fungi that did not significantly degrade wood had no phenol oxidase activity in either wood- or glucose-containing cultures. The one-electron oxidation activity in intact cultures of the soft-rot deuteromycetes was roughly related with the rate of mass loss during wood degradation in those cultures. However, there was no clear relationship between phenol oxidase activity and either one-electron oxidation activity or the rate of wood mass loss, either over time, or in total. Most of the one-electron oxidation activity resulted from phenol oxidase and hydroxyl radical. Most of the phenol oxidase activity resulted from laccase. Furthermore, the mechanism of wood degradation by one of these deuteromycete fungi, Graphium sp., was investigated. Most of the phenol oxidase activity appeared to derive from laccase. Most of the ethylene generation from KTBA was attributed to hydroxyl radicals, produced by a low-molecular-mass substance in the extracellular media. This substance was composed of protein, carbohydrates, and Fe(II), and catalyzed redox reactions between O2 and unidentified electron donors, to produce hydroxyl radicals via H2O2. It is suggested that hydroxyl radicals may produce new phenolic substructures on the lignin polymer, making it susceptible to attack by laccase. Thus, one-electron oxidation acitivity and laccase activity are both important in wood degradation by Graphium sp.

Keywords: wood decay, soft-rot, laccase, hydroxyl radical, Deuteromycetes, Graphium sp.

Conference: 07-05-20/24 Jackson, USA

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