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Review
. 2017 Dec;9(6):679-705.
doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12597.

Bacterial Catabolism of Lignin-Derived Aromatics: New Findings in a Recent Decade: Update on Bacterial Lignin Catabolism

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Review

Bacterial Catabolism of Lignin-Derived Aromatics: New Findings in a Recent Decade: Update on Bacterial Lignin Catabolism

Naofumi Kamimura et al. Environ Microbiol Rep. .

Abstract

Lignin is the most abundant phenolic polymer; thus, its decomposition by microorganisms is fundamental to carbon cycling on earth. Lignin breakdown is initiated by depolymerization catalysed by extracellular oxidoreductases secreted by white-rot basidiomycetous fungi. On the other hand, bacteria play a predominant role in the mineralization of lignin-derived heterogeneous low-molecular-weight aromatic compounds. The outline of bacterial catabolic pathways for lignin-derived bi- and monoaryls are typically composed of the following sequential steps: (i) funnelling of a wide variety of lignin-derived aromatics into vanillate and syringate, (ii) O demethylation of vanillate and syringate to form catecholic derivatives and (iii) aromatic ring-cleavage of the catecholic derivatives to produce tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. Knowledge regarding bacterial catabolic systems for lignin-derived aromatic compounds is not only important for understanding the terrestrial carbon cycle but also valuable for promoting the shift to a low-carbon economy via biological lignin valorisation. This review summarizes recent progress in bacterial catabolic systems for lignin-derived aromatic compounds, including newly identified catabolic pathways and genes for decomposition of lignin-derived biaryls, transcriptional regulation and substrate uptake systems. Recent omics approaches on catabolism of lignin-derived aromatic compounds are also described.

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