The ligno-cellulosic biomass is the most abundant and also the most renewable biomaterial on earth. The development of alternative energy technology such as bioconversion of biomass is critically important because of the rising prices of crude oil, security issues regarding the oil supply and air pollution. Many microorganisms in nature are able to attack and degrade lignin, thus making access to cellulose easy. Such organisms are abundantly found in forest leaf litter/composts and especially include the wood rotting fungi, actinomycetes and bacteria. These microorganisms possess enzyme systems to attack, depolymerize and degrade the polymers in lignocellulosic substrates. Fungi such as Trichoderma reesei and Trichoderma harzianumproduce large amounts of extracellular cellulolytic enzymes, whereas higher fungi such as basidiomycetes (e.g. Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Coriolus versicolor, Pleurotus ostreatus, Fusarium sp.) have unique oxidative systems which together with ligninolytic enzymes are responsible for lignocellulose degradation. These lignocellulolytic fungi can prove extremely useful in delignification of lignocellulosic biomass. The present work reports the comparison in chemical compostion of paddy straw pretreated with Coriolus versicolor MTCC 138 (standard) andFusarium sp. (isolated from compost/digested slurry/ plant debris). Lignin loss observed was 27.1 and 17.5% on 20th day in paddy straw pretreated with C. versicolor MTCC 138 and Fusarium sp., respectively. Thus, fungal pretreatment for lignocellulosic substrate can be developed to facilitate efficient degradation of lignocellulosic biomass.
Key words: Delignification, fungal pretreatment, lignocellulosic biomass.
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