Breakdown of plant cell biomass by filamentous fungi

S.N. Smith, Richard A. Armstrong, M.W. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three species of filamentous fungi, Botrytis cinerea, Sporotrichum thermophile and Trichoderma viride, have been selected to assess the potential of utilizing filamentous fungi to degrade plant cell biomass produced by mass cell culture techniques. All three fungal species grew comparatively well on plant cell biomass with no requirement for supplementary nutrients. Of the three species assessed B. cinerea demonstrated the most growth. This species also produced the greatest yield of D-glucose. However, when culture conditions were modified, yields of D-glucose were markedly reduced indicating that the combination of species and culture conditions must be thoroughly investigated to ensure maximum product yield. The growth of filamentous fungi on plant cells also markedly affected the nature of the resulting fungal-plant cell residue, increasing the levels of soluble carbohydrates and essential amino acids with the largest increase in these materials being promoted by B. cinerea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1985


  • fungus
  • filamentous fungi
  • plant cell biomass
  • biomass breakdown


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