Biodegradation Potential of SteccherinumOchraceum: Growth on Different Wood Types and Preliminary Evaluation of Enzymatic Activities


White-rot fungi isa source of a great variety of oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes suitable for biotechnological applications, e.g. in pulp and paper, textile and food industries, bioethanol production, degradation of recalcitrant environmental pollutants,and others. Steccherinumochraceum is a xylotrophicwhite-rot basidiomycetethat can be found in variousclimatic zones on different woody substrates (mostly well decayed). For this research, seventeenstrains of S. ochraceumwere collected in different regions of Russia from various wood substrates (aspen, alder, oak, hazel, birch and willow). Phylogeneticanalyseswere performedbasedon the nucleotide sequences of ITS1, ITS2, 5.8S rRNA, 28S rRNA, β-tubulin and tef1.Oxidaseandcellulaseactivitieswereassessedbyplate-tests with ABTS and CMC. Forevaluation of biodegradation potential,solid state fermentation on alder and pine sawdust wasperformed. Weightanddensitylossaswellas the C:Nratioweremeasuredafter 90 days of cultivation.All S. ochraceum strains exhibited high oxidative activity towards ABTS, indicating secretion of oxidative enzymes (i.e. laccases and class II peroxidases). Cellulase activity was medium or low for most strains and in some strains – absent. Allstrainswereabletodegradealderandpinesawdust. There was no correlation between the enzymatic activity, biodegradation potential and geographic origin of S. ochraceum strains. However, S. ochraceum strains isolated from the same wood substrates exhibited similar characteristics in most cases. Strain LE-BIN 3398 was the most effective for degrading both alder and pine sawdust and could be regarded as a promising source of oxidative enzymes for biotechnology.

Keywords: basidiomycetes, biodegradation, solid state fermentation, oxidase activity, Steccherinumochraceum

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