Polyporales represents a species-rich but still poorly studied order of fungi. Many of the species comprise the major group of wood decayers in temperate and tropical forests. Polyporales fungi include brown rot and white rot species that can be selectively exploited for their ability to degrade cellulose, hemicellulose and/or lignin in woody substrates. For example, Phanerochaete chrysosporium is a white rot Polyporales capable of completely degrading all major components of plant cell walls including cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin while the white rot Ceriporiopsis subvermispora only breaks down only lignin. In addition, many Polyporales are capable of degrading toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbons makes them useful for the development of bioremediation and waste detoxification applications. The project focuses on exploring the fungal biodiversity of Polyporales in order to identify enzymes that could prove applicable to biomass conversion processes.
PI: Eric Record, Aix-Marseille University, France