Mechanisms used by white-rot fungus to degrade lignin and toxic chemicals

C. Namhyun, I. S. Lee, H. S. Song, W. G. Bang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Wood-rotting basidiomycetous fungi are the most efficient degraders of lignin on earth. The white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been used as a model microorganism in the study of enzymology and its application. Because of the ability of the white-rot fungus to degrade lignin, which has an irregular structure and large molecular mass, this fungus has also been studied in relation to degrading and mineralizing many environmental pollutants. The fungus includes an array of enzymes, such as lignin peroxidase (LiP), manganese-dependent peroxidase (MnP), cellobiose:quinone oxidoreductase, and H2O2-producing enzymes and also produces many other components of the ligninolytic system, such as veratryl alcohol (VA) and oxalate. In addition, the fungus has mechanisms for the reduction of degradation intermediates. The ligninolytic systems have been proved to provide reductive reactions as well as oxidative reactions, both of which are essential for the degradation of lignin and organopollutants. Further study on the white-rot fungus may provide many tools to both utilize lignin, the most abundant aromatic polymer, and bioremediate many recalcitrant organopollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-752
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Lignin
  • Lignmolytic system
  • Manganese
  • Organopollutants
  • Oxalate
  • Oxidations
  • Peroxidases
  • Phanerochaete chrysosporium
  • Reductions
  • Veratryl alcohol
  • White-rot fugus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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