Lignocellulose degradation: An overview of fungi and fungal enzymes involved in lignocellulose degradation

Martina Andlar, Tonči Rezić*, Nenad Marđetko, Daniel Kracher, Roland Ludwig, Božidar Šantek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review aims to present current knowledge of the fungi involved in lignocellulose degradation with an overview of the various classes of lignocellulose-acting enzymes engaged in the pretreatment and saccharification step. Fungi have numerous applications and biotechnological potential for various industries including chemicals, fuel, pulp, and paper. The capability of fungi to degrade lignocellulose containing raw materials is due to their highly effective enzymatic system. Along with the hydrolytic enzymes consisting of cellulases and hemicellulases, responsible for polysaccharide degradation, they have a unique nonenzymatic oxidative system which together with ligninolytic enzymes is responsible for lignin modification and degradation. An overview of the enzymes classification is given by the Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (CAZy) database as the major database for the identification of the lignocellulolytic enzymes by their amino acid sequence similarity. Finally, the recently discovered novel class of recalcitrant polysaccharide degraders-lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are presented, because of these enzymes importance in the cellulose degradation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-778
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering in Life Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological pretreatment
  • Carbohydrate active enzymes
  • Fungi and fungal enzymes
  • Lignocellulose degradation
  • Plant cell wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Bioengineering


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