Hydroxyl radical generation by an extracellular low-molecular-weight substance and phenol oxidase activity during wood degradation by the white-rot basidiomycete Trametes versicolor.

Tanaka H, Itakura S, Enoki A.

Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, 3327-204 Nakamachi, Nara, Japan


One-electron oxidation activity, as measured by ethylene generation from 2-keto-4-thiomethylbutyric acid, phenol oxidase activity, and the generation of hydroxyl radical were examined in cultures of the lignin-degrading white-rot basidiomycete fungus, Trametes (Coriolus) versicolor. The activity levels of specific lignin-degrading enzymes and cellulases, as well as the rate of wood degradation, also were examined. The fungus secreted a low-molecular-weight substance (M(r) 1000-5000) that catalyzed a redox reaction between molecular oxygen and an electron donor, to produce the hydroxyl radical via hydrogen peroxide. During wood decay, T. versicolor also produced significant amounts of laccase and lignin peroxidase, carboxymethyl cellulase, and Avicelase. The roles of the hydroxyl radical, phenol oxidases, and cellulases in wood degradation by white-rot fungi are discussed. That the hydroxyl radical produced by the low-molecular-weight substance secreted by T. versicolor results in new phenolic substructures on the lignin polymer, making it susceptible to attack by laccase or manganese peroxidase is suggested.

PMID: 10704993 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]