Aromatic metabolism of filamentous fungi in relation to the presence of aromatic compounds in plant biomass

Miia R Mäkelä, Mila Marinović, Paula Nousiainen, April J M Liwanag, Isabelle Benoit, Jussi Sipilä, Annele Hatakka, Ronald P de Vries, Kristiina S Hildén

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    The biological conversion of plant lignocellulose plays an essential role not only in carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems but also is an important part of the production of second generation biofuels and biochemicals. The presence of the recalcitrant aromatic polymer lignin is one of the major obstacles in the biofuel/biochemical production process and therefore microbial degradation of lignin is receiving a great deal of attention. Fungi are the main degraders of plant biomass, and in particular the basidiomycete white rot fungi are of major importance in converting plant aromatics due to their ability to degrade lignin. However, the aromatic monomers that are released from lignin and other aromatic compounds of plant biomass are toxic for most fungi already at low levels, and therefore conversion of these compounds to less toxic metabolites is essential for fungi. Although the release of aromatic compounds from plant biomass by fungi has been studied extensively, relatively little attention has been given to the metabolic pathways that convert the resulting aromatic monomers. In this review we provide an overview of the aromatic components of plant biomass, and their release and conversion by fungi. Finally, we will summarize the applications of fungal systems related to plant aromatics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-137
    Number of pages75
    JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Biomass
    • Fungi
    • Lignin
    • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
    • Organic Chemicals
    • Plants


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