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Isolation and identification of microorganisms from soil able to live on lignin as a carbon source and to produce enzymes which cleave beta-O-4 bond in a lignin model compound
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8135-588X
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
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2012 (English)In: Cellulose Chemistry and Technology, ISSN 0576-9787, Vol. 46, no 3-4, 227-242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several strains of fungi were isolated and identified from Scandinavian soil using agar plates with lignin as a carbon source. The strains grew significantly faster on this medium than on control plates without lignin. Different types of technical lignins were used, some of which contained trace amounts of sugars, even if the increased growth rate seemed not related to the sugar content. Some strains were cultivated in shaking flask cultures with lignin as a carbon source, with lignin apparently consumed by microbes - while accumulation of the microorganism biomass occurred. The cell-free filtrates of these cultures could reduce the apparent molecular weights of lignosulphonates, while the culture filtrate of one strain could cleave the beta-O-4 bond in a lignin model compound.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 46, no 3-4, 227-242 p.
Keyword [en]
lignin biodegradation, carbon source, soil microorganisms, extracellular enzymes, beta-O-4 bond
National Category
Chemical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-101134ISI: 000306779000010ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84864568077OAI: diva2:546639

QC 20120824

Available from: 2012-08-24 Created: 2012-08-23 Last updated: 2016-02-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lignocellulose Degradation by Soil Micro-organisms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lignocellulose Degradation by Soil Micro-organisms
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lignocellulosic biomass is a sustainable resource with abundant reserves. Compared to petroleum ‐ based products, the biomass ‐ derived polymers and chemicals give better environmental profiles. A lot of research interest is focused on understanding the lignocellulose structures.

Lignin, among the three major wood components, represents most difficulty for microbial degradation because of its complex structure and because cross ‐ linking to hemicellulose makes wood such a compact structure. Nevertheless, wood is naturally degraded by wood ‐ degrading micro ‐ organisms and modified and partly degraded residual of lignin goes into soil. Therefore soil serves as a good environment in which to search for special lignin ‐ degraders. In this thesis, different types of lignin have been used as sole carbon sources to screen for lignin ‐ degrading soil micro ‐ organisms. Eleven aerobic and three anaerobic microbe strains have been isolated and identified as able to grow on lignin. The lignin degradation patterns of selected strains have been studied and these partly include an endwise cleavage of  β‐ O ‐ 4 bonds in lignin and is more complex than simple hydrolytic degradation.

As lignin exists in wood covalently bonded to hemicellulose, one isolated microbe strain, Phoma herbarum, has also been studied with regards to its ability to degrade covalent lignin polysaccharide networks (LCC). The results show that its culture filtrate can attack lignin ‐ polysaccharide networks in a manner different from that of the commercial enzyme product, Gammanase, possibly by selective cleavage of phenyl glucoside bonds. The effects on LCC of Phoma herbarum also enhance polymer extractability. Hot ‐ water extraction of a culture filtrate of Phoma herbarum ‐ treated fiberized spruce wood material gave an amount of extracted galactoglucomannan more than that given by the Gammanase ‐ treated material and non ‐ enzyme ‐ treated material.

Over millions of years of natural evolution, micro ‐ organisms on the one hand develop so that they can degrade all wood components to get energy for growth, while plants on the other hand also continuously develop to defend from microbial attack. Compared with lignin and cellulose, hemicelluloses as major components of plant cell walls, are much more easily degraded, but hemicelluloses differ from cellulose in that they are acetylated to different extents. The biological functions of acetylation are not completely understood, but it is suggested is that one function is to decrease the microbial degradability of cell walls. By cultivation of soil micro ‐ organisms using mannans acetylated to deffernent degrees as sole carbon source on agar plates, we were able to see significant trends where the resistance towards microbial degradation of glucomannan and galactomannan increased with increasing degree of acetylation. Possible mechanisms and the technological significance of this are discussed. Tailoring the degree of acetylation of polysaccharide materials might slow down the biodegradation, making it possible to design a material with a degradation rate suited to its application.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 59 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2016:10
National Category
Polymer Technologies Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology Microbiology Polymer Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182336 (URN)978‐91‐7595‐868‐2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-18, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

QC 20160223

Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-18 Last updated: 2016-02-23Bibliographically approved

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