Characterizing Fungal Decay of Beech Wood: Potential for Biotechnological Applications

Bari E., Ohno K., Yilgor N., Singh A. P., Morrell J. J., Pizzi A., ...More

MICROORGANISMS, vol.9, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/microorganisms9020247
  • Journal Name: MICROORGANISMS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The biotechnological potential of nine decay fungi collected from stored beech logs at a pulp and paper factory yard in Northern Iran was investigated. Beech blocks exposed to the fungi in a laboratory decay test were used to study changes in cell wall chemistry using both wet chemistry and spectroscopic methods. Pleurotus ostreatus, P. pulmonarius, and Lentinus sajor-caju caused greater lignin breakdown compared to other white-rot fungi, which led to a 28% reduction in refining energy. Trametes versicolor caused the greatest glucan loss, while P. ostreatus and L. sajor-caju were associated with the lowest losses of this sugar. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses indicated that white-rot fungi caused greater lignin degradation in the cell walls via the oxidation aromatic rings, confirming the chemical analysis. The rate of cellulose and lignin degradation by the T. versicolor and Pleurotus species was high compared to the other decay fungi analyzed in this study. Based on the above information, we propose that, among the fungi tested, P. ostreatus (27.42% lignin loss and 1.58% cellulose loss) and L. sajor-caju (29.92% lignin loss and 5.95% cellulose loss) have the greatest potential for biopulping.