Identification of genes for lignin peroxidases and manganese peroxidases in ectomycorrhizal fungi

Authors

  • David M. Chen,

    1. Mycorrhiza Research Group, School of Science Food & Horticulture, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Locked Bag 1797, PENRITH SOUTH DC, NSW 1797, Australia;
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  • Andrew F. S. Taylor,

    1. Department of Forest Mycology & Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7026, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden;
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  • Ron M. Burke,

    1. Department of Biomolecular Sciences, UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
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  • John W. G. Cairney

    Corresponding author
    1. Mycorrhiza Research Group, School of Science Food & Horticulture, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Locked Bag 1797, PENRITH SOUTH DC, NSW 1797, Australia;
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Author for correspondence: John W. G. Cairney Tel: +61 29685 9903 Fax: +61 29685 9915 Email:j.cairney@uws.edu.au

Summary

  • • Genes for ligninolytic enzymes, normally associated with white-rot fungi, are shown to be widespread in a broad taxonomic range of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi.
  • • ECM fungi were screened for lignin peroxidase (LiP) and manganese peroxidase (MnP) genes by PCR using primers specific for known isozymes in the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, with DNA sequencing used to confirm the identity of the amplified fragments.
  • • Genes for LiPs were detected in ECM fungi representing the orders Agaricales, Aphyllophorales, Boletales, Cantharellales, Hymenochaetales, Sclerodermatales, Stereales and Thelephorales. MnP genes were detected in only Cortinarius rotundisporus and three ECM Stereales taxa.
  • • The presence of genes for decomposer activities supports putative evolutionary relationships between ECM and saprotrophic fungi. Expression of the lignolytic genes may facilitate ECM fungal access to nutrients associated with dead plant material in soil and potentially a supplementary carbon supply. Strict functional boundaries between ECM and decomposer fungi may be less clear-cut than previously thought.

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