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

Miia Riitta Mäkelä, Mila Marinovic, Paula Annukka Nousiainen, April J.M. Liwanag, Isabelle Benoit, Jussi Sipilä, Annele Inkeri Hatakka, Ronald de Vries, Sari Kristiina Hilden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review


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
JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology
Pages (from-to)63-137
Number of pages74
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • 416 Food Science

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