Lignocellulose-Degrading Enzymes in Soils
Biopolymers contained within or derived from plant biomass form are by far the largest pool of soil carbon. The decomposition of lignocellulose in the soil environment thus attracts considerable attention. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of the polysaccharidic polymers cellulose and hemicelluloses , and the polyphenolic polymer lignin . During transformation in soils, humic substances (humus, humic, and fulvic acids) are formed from both lignocellulose and structural components of microbial decomposers. This is achieved through the concerted action of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes, whose activity is regulated by soil properties, land use and the identity of their microbial producers. Soil fungi seem to be the most important players in lignocellulose transformation processes due to their ability to attack both polysaccharides and polyphenols in the soil organic matter. While some basic concepts of regulation of enzymatic activity have been outlined, questions regarding enzyme production and diversity at the molecular level are just recently being opened.
KeywordsHumic Substance Microbial Biomass Forest Soil Fungal Biomass Laccase Activity
Financial support from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (Project LC06066) and from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (Project QH72216) is gratefully acknowledged.
- DeForest JL, Zak DR, Pregitzer KS, Burton AJ (2004) Atmospheric nitrate deposition, microbial community composition, and enzyme activity in northern hardwood forests. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:132–138Google Scholar
- Ekschmitt K, Kandeler E, Poll C, Brune A, Buscot F, Friedrich M, Gleixner G, Hartmann A, Kastner M, Marhan S, Miltner A, Scheu S, Wolters V (2008) Soil-carbon preservation through habitat constraints and biological limitations on decomposer activity. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 171:27–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hatakka A (2001) Biodegradation of Lignin. In: Steinbüchel A, Hofrichter M (eds) Biopolymers 1: lignin, humic substances and coal. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 129–180Google Scholar
- Kahkonen MA, Wittmann C, Kurola J, Ilvesniemi H, Salkinoja-Salonen MS (2001) Microbial activity of boreal forest soil in a cold climate. Boreal Environ Res 6:19–28Google Scholar
- Kästner M, Hofrichter M (2001) Biodegradation of humic substances. In: Steinbüchel A, Hofrichter M (eds) Biopolymers 1: lignin, humic substances and coal. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 349–378Google Scholar
- Kjoller A, Struwe S (2002) Fungal communities, succession, enzymes, and decomposition. In: Burns RG, Dick RP (eds) Enzymes in the environment: activity, ecology and applications. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 267–284Google Scholar
- Sinsabaugh RL, Lauber CL, Weintraub MN, Ahmed B, Allison SD, Crenshaw C, Contosta AR, Cusack D, Frey S, Gallo ME, Gartner TB, Hobbie SE, Holland K, Keeler BL, Powers JS, Stursova M, Takacs-Vesbach C, Waldrop MP et al (2008) Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. Ecol Lett 11:1252–1264PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tscherko D, Kandeler E (1999) Classification and monitoring of soil microbial biomass, N-mineralization and enzyme activities to indicate environmental changes. Bodenkultur 50:215–226Google Scholar
- Waldrop MP, Harden JW (2008) Interactive effects of wildfire and permafrost on microbial communities and soil processes in an Alaskan black spruce forest. Glob Chang Biol 14:2591–2602Google Scholar