Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 23, pp 9527–9544 | Cite as

Occurrence of lignin degradation genotypes and phenotypes among prokaryotes

  • Jiang-Hao Tian
  • Anne-Marie Pourcher
  • Théodore Bouchez
  • Eric Gelhaye
  • Pascal PeuEmail author


A number of prokaryotes actively contribute to lignin degradation in nature and their activity could be of interest for many applications including the production of biogas/biofuel from lignocellulosic biomass and biopulping. This review compares the reliability and efficiency of the culture-dependent screening methods currently used for the isolation of ligninolytic prokaryotes. Isolated prokaryotes exhibiting lignin-degrading potential are presented according to their phylogenetic groups. With the development of bioinformatics, culture-independent techniques are emerging that allow larger-scale data mining for ligninolytic prokaryotic functions but today, these techniques still have some limits. In this work, two phylogenetic affiliations of isolated prokaryotes exhibiting ligninolytic potential and laccase-encoding prokaryotes were determined on the basis of 16S rDNA sequences, providing a comparative view of results obtained by the two types of screening techniques. The combination of laboratory culture and bioinformatics approaches is a promising way to explore lignin-degrading prokaryotes.


Lignin Degradation Prokaryotes Screening Culture-dependent Culture-independent Phylogenetic distribution 



This work was supported by a grant from the “French Environment and Energy Agency, ADEME” (Project No. 13 06 C 0068).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiang-Hao Tian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anne-Marie Pourcher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Théodore Bouchez
    • 3
  • Eric Gelhaye
    • 4
    • 5
  • Pascal Peu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.IRSTEA, UR GERERennesFrance
  2. 2.Université Européenne de BretagneRennesFrance
  3. 3.IRSTEA, UR HBANAntonyFrance
  4. 4.INRA, Interactions Arbres—Microorganismes, UMR1136ChampenouxFrance
  5. 5.Université de Lorraine, Interactions Arbres—Microorganismes, UMR1136Vandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance

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