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Summary

Fungal degradation of wood is mainly restricted to basidiomycetes, these organisms having developed complex oxidative and hydrolytic enzymatic systems. Besides these systems, wood-decaying fungi possess intracellular networks allowing them to deal with the myriad of potential toxic compounds resulting at least in part from wood degradation but also more generally from recalcitrant organic matter degradation. The members of the detoxification pathways constitute the xenome. Generally, they belong to multigenic families such as the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and the glutathione transferases. Taking advantage of the recent release of numerous genomes of basidiomycetes, we show here that these multigenic families are extended and functionally related in wood-decaying fungi. Furthermore, we postulate that these rapidly evolving multigenic families could reflect the adaptation of these fungi to the diversity of their substrate and provide keys to understand their ecology. This is of particular importance for white biotechnology, this xenome being a putative target for improving degradation properties of these fungi in biomass valorization purposes.