Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Sep 1:e0141923. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.01419-23. Online ahead of print.
Indigenous white-rot fungal isolates Schizophyllum commune, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Ganoderma racenaceum, and Lentinus squarrosulus, demonstrating the ability to depolymerize lignin of the crop residues, were studied for their potential to produce ligninolytic enzymes using modified production media under conditions of limiting and excess nitrogen for higher enzymatic expressions. Secretome-rich media on the investigation confirmed the successful production of lignin-depolymerizing enzymes, viz. laccase, lignin peroxidase, manganese peroxidase, and versatile peroxidase. Production of laccases and peroxidases was statistically significant in nitrogen-limiting media with and without the substrate, across all white-rot fungal cultures at 95% confidence interval. Nitrogen-limiting media with the substrate on analysis extracellularly expressed 99.27 U of laccase and 68.48 U of manganese peroxidase in Schizophyllum commune, while 195.14 U of lignin peroxidase was produced by Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Lentinus squarrosulus expressed 455.34 U of laccase and 357.13 U of versatile peroxidase with 250.09 U of laccase and 206.95 U of manganese peroxidase produced by Ganoderma racenaceum for every milliliter of the media used. Nitrogen-limiting media triggered the production of laccase during the initial stages of growth while the expression of peroxidases was predominant at a later stage. Also, this media evinced increased enzymatic yields with low biomass content compared to nitrogen-excess conditions. The extant study confirmed the positive influence of nitrogen-limiting media in the efficient production of ligninolytic enzymes and their suggestive degradation potential for environmental pollutants, making these enzymes a safe, clean alternative to the use of chemicals and the media to be effective for large-scale production of ligninolytic enzymes. IMPORTANCE Lignin on account of its high abundance, complex polymeric structure, and biochemical properties is identified as a promising candidate in renewable energy and bioproduct manufacturing. However, depolymerization of lignin remains a major challenge in lignin utilization, entailing the employment of harsh treatments representing not only an environmental concern but also a waste of economic potential. Developing an alternative green technology to minimize this impact is imperative. Methods using enzymes to depolymerize lignin are the focus of recent studies. Current research work emphasized the efficient expression of the major lignin-depolymerizing enzymes: laccases, lignin peroxidases, manganese peroxidases, and versatile peroxidases from native isolates of white-rot fungus for several biotechnological applications as well as treatment of crop residues for use as ruminant feed in improving productivity. The importance of nitrogen in augmenting the expression of lignin-depolymerizing enzymes and providing a media recipe for the cost-effective production of ligninolytic enzymes is highlighted.