High spatial resolution infrared micro-spectroscopy reveals the mechanism of leaf lignin decomposition by aquatic fungi

Kerr, Janice L., Baldwin, Darren S., Tobin, Mark J., Puskar, Ljiljana, Kappen, Peter, Rees, Gavin N. and Silvester, Ewen (2013) High spatial resolution infrared micro-spectroscopy reveals the mechanism of leaf lignin decomposition by aquatic fungi. PLoS One, 8 4: e60857.1-e60857.10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060857


Author Kerr, Janice L.
Baldwin, Darren S.
Tobin, Mark J.
Puskar, Ljiljana
Kappen, Peter
Rees, Gavin N.
Silvester, Ewen
Title High spatial resolution infrared micro-spectroscopy reveals the mechanism of leaf lignin decomposition by aquatic fungi
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-04-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0060857
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 4
Start page e60857.1
End page e60857.10
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Organic carbon is a critical component of aquatic systems, providing energy storage and transfer between organisms. Fungi are a major decomposer group in the aquatic carbon cycle, and are one of few groups thought to be capable of breaking down woody (lignified) tissue. In this work we have used high spatial resolution (synchrotron light source) infrared micro-spectroscopy to study the interaction between aquatic fungi and lignified leaf vein material (xylem) from River Redgum trees (E. camaldulensis) endemic to the lowland rivers of South-Eastern Australia. The work provides spatially explicit evidence that fungal colonisation of leaf litter involves the oxidative breakdown of lignin immediately adjacent to the fungal tissue and depletion of the lignin-bound cellulose. Cellulose depletion occurs over relatively short length scales (5-15 μm) and highlights the likely importance of mechanical breakdown in accessing the carbohydrate content of this resource. Low bioavailability compounds (oxidized lignin and polyphenols of plant origin) remain in colonised leaves, even after fungal activity diminishes, and suggests a possible pathway for the sequestration of carbon in wetlands. The work shows that fungi likely have a critical role in the partitioning of lignified material into a biodegradable fraction that can re-enter the aquatic carbon cycle, and a recalcitrant fraction that enters long-term storage in sediments or contribute to the formation of dissolved organic carbon in the water column.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e60857

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Official 2014 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 09 Apr 2013, 20:18:56 EST by Janice Kerr on behalf of Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry