Brown RotA recent analysis of Postia placenta’s genome, secretome and transcritome, may pave ways for better biofuel productions in the future. Postia placenta, also known as brown rot, can decompose plant, specifically wooden material rapidly.

In the recent scientific study, the international group of scientists found a system of extracellular enzymes that occurs uniquely in the rot fungus species. This particular enzyme is believed to be a potential ingredient in the production of more cost-effective biofuels.

To be more specific, this particular enzyme system, according to the analysis, can work around the polymer lignin structures of the plant matter. Brown rot has the ability to effectively unbind, breakdown and ferment the sugar units in the plant matter.

In other words, with the help of brown rot, wood can be harnessed as distilled, liquid biofuel in the future.

Not a lot of organisms can breakdown the plant’s lignin into manageable chemical units for biofuel production. The lignin is part of the plant’s protective system that shields it from pests. One of the exceptions is the basidiommycete fungi, wood decayers that include white and brown rot.

Before this study, brown rot was considered a “pest” in the US timber industry, wreaking havoc on an economically significant number of timbers every year.

This recent study was conducted by no less than 50 authors from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL).

It was earlier reported on the online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last February 4, 2009.

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