Cryo-FE-SEM & TEM immuno-techniques reveal new details for understanding white-rot decay of lignocellulose

Geoffrey Daniel (Corresponding Author), Jindrich Volc, Marja-Leena Niku-Paavola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


High-resolution Cryo-Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (HR-Cryo-FE-SEM) and immuno-cytochemistry were used to reveal novel details on the morphological events and spatial distribution of oxidoreductive enzymes during the degradation of birch wood by the white-rot fungi Phlebia radiata and mutant strain P. radiata Cel 26. Cryo-observations of fractured fibres showed degradation across the cell wall by P. radiata (wild) to progress by delamination and removal of concentric orientated aggregates from the secondary S2 cell wall. Decay by P. radiata Cel 26 progressed by removal of materials (lignin and hemicelluloses) between the aggregates (primarily cellulose) that remained even after advanced decay. With both decay patterns, extracellular slime materials were present uniting lumina hyphae with the attacked fibre wall. The extracellular slime material had two morphological forms: viz a fibrillar (often tripartite) and a ‘gel-form’, the former found in discrete bands progressing across the lumen onto the fibre wall. Using TEM immunocytochemistry, laccase, manganese peroxidase (MnP) and diarylpropane enzymes were localized in the periplasmic space of luminal hyphae, in association with the cell membrane, periplasmic vesicles and fungal cell wall. Extracellularly, the three enzymes were found associated with the slime and tripartite membranes and with the birch cell walls at all stages of attack through to middle lamella corner decay. Enzyme distribution was correlated with morphological changes in cell wall structure. The association of extracellular slime with these enzymes and sites of decay strongly suggests a major role for this matrix in fibre cell wall decomposition. To cite this article: G. Daniel et al., C. R. Biologies 327 (2004).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-871
JournalComptes Rendus: Biologies
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • white rot
  • fungi
  • white-rot fungi
  • Phlebia radiata
  • HR-cryo FE-SEM
  • TEM immunocytochemistry
  • laccase
  • manganese peroxidase
  • diarylpropane peroxidase
  • extracellular slime
  • biodegradation
  • birch


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