The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Photo of Michiel Op de Beeck

Michiel Op de Beeck

Researcher

Photo of Michiel Op de Beeck

Fungal extracellular polymeric substance matrices – Highly specialized microenvironments that allow fungi to control soil organic matter decomposition reactions

Author

  • Michiel Op De Beeck
  • Per Persson
  • Anders Tunlid

Summary, in English

Filamentous fungi play a key role in the terrestrial carbon cycle as they are the primary decomposers of lignocellulose in soil organic matter (SOM). Fungi secrete a wide range of oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes, and generate radicals through extracellular secondary metabolites to decompose SOM. To study fungal decomposition of SOM, the activities of isolated enzymes are typically studied as proxies for the decomposition activity of fungi. However, extracellular enzymes involved in lignocellulose decomposition are often bound to fungal extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrices. This association between extracellular enzymes and EPS matrices affects the activities of the enzymes. Moreover, extracellular enzymes and fungal cells are prone to attack by radicals and proteolytic enzymes themselves. Hence, these seemingly incompatible decomposition mechanisms must be regulated in some way in the fungal extracellular space to allow efficient decomposition of SOM, while preventing damage to secreted extracellular enzymes or the fungal cells themselves. We here review studies investigating the associations between fungal extracellular enzymes and EPS matrices and how these associations affect hydrolytic and oxidative reactions involved in SOM decomposition. Based on the knowledge compiled in the current review, we propose that fungal EPS matrices should be viewed as highly dynamic and functional parts of the fungal extracellular decomposition machinery. We also build a conceptual illustration that describes how the molecular composition and structure of fungal EPS matrices ensure that extracellular decomposition reactions only proceed at the right time and in the right place.

Department/s

  • MEMEG
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)

Publishing year

2021-08

Language

English

Publication/Series

Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Volume

159

Document type

Journal article review

Publisher

Elsevier

Topic

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix
  • Fungi
  • Soil organic matter (SOM)

Status

Published

Research group

  • Microbial Ecology

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0038-0717