chapter  8
8 Pages

Fungal Biomolecules and Fungal Secondary Metabolites

The various impacts of fungal molecules can be categorized into different levels such as degradation of pollutants, biofuel production, biopesticides and biocontrol agents, biofertilizers and secondary metabolites. Mycoremediation, a kind of bioremediation in which the fungi is used to degrade pollutants from the environment. It can be done by mixing mycelium into contaminated soil and placing mycelia mats over toxic sites. Fungi remove the heavy metals by channeling them into their fruit bodies and other pollutants by the enzymatic degradation. Among whiterot fungi and brown-rot fungi, white rot fungi are found to be more efficient in mycoremediation, which contain enzymes like lignin peroxidases, manganese peroxidases and laccases. A number of reviews dealing with degradation of environmental pollutants by white rot fungi have been published (Ponting, 2001). Extra-cellular lignin modifying enzyme produced by fungi shows the ability for degradation of all pollutants with structural similarity with lignin, because of its low substrate specificity. Thus

fungi have an innate ability to degrade different recalcitrant pollutants. Moreover, their hyphal extension can reach pollutants in the soil thereby participate in ecological restoration.