2020 journal article
Fungal Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Genetically-modified Populus trichocarpa
BIORESOURCES, 15(3), 6488–6505.
Fungal pretreatment of Populus trichocarpa wood genetically modified to reduce lignin and alter lignin chemistry is investigated for its effectiveness as an alternative to common pretreatment methods. The goal of this work is to improve biomass utilization for biofuel and biochemical applications by increasing sugar release. Sugar release after enzymatic hydrolysis was measured after various biomass pretreatments (including wood-rot fungus, hot water, and dilute acid). In the wildtype, and in constructs downregulated in PAL, 4CL, and C3H, the fungal pretreatment resulted in substantial improvements in sugar yields, up to 2.4-fold increase in glucose yield and 6-fold increase in xylose yield after enzymatic hydrolysis compared to the unpretreated control. However, the effects of fungal pretreatment were inconsistent, and in genetic lines down-regulated in 4CL, CCoAOMT, CAld5H, and C3H, fungal pretreatment yielded similar or decreased sugar release after enzymatic hydrolysis.