Involvement of Fenton chemistry in rice straw degradation by the lignocellulolytic bacterium Pantoea ananatis Sd-1

Ma, Jiangshan ; Zhang, Keke ; Huang, Mei ; Hector, Stanton B. ; Liu, Bin ; Tong, Chunyi ; Liu, Qian ; Zeng, Jiarui ; Gao, Yan ; Xu, Ting ; Liu, Ying ; Liu, Xuanming ; Zhu, Yonghua (2016)

CITATION: Ma, J., et al. 2016. Involvement of Fenton chemistry in rice straw degradation by the lignocellulolytic bacterium Pantoea ananatis Sd-1. Biotechnol Biofuels, 9:211, doi: 10.1186/s13068-016-0623-x.

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Background: Lignocellulolytic bacteria have revealed to be a promising source for biofuel production, yet the underlying mechanisms are still worth exploring. Our previous study inferred that the highly efficient lignocellulose degradation by bacterium Pantoea ananatis Sd-1 might involve Fenton chemistry (Fe2+ + H2O2 + H+ → Fe3+ + OH · + H2O), similar to that of white-rot and brown-rot fungi. The aim of this work is to investigate the existence of this Fenton-based oxidation mechanism in the rice straw degradation process of P. ananatis Sd-1. Results: After 3 days incubation of unpretreated rice straw with P. ananatis Sd-1, the percentage in weight reduction of rice straw as well as its cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin components reached 46.7, 43.1, 42.9, and 37.9 %, respectively. The addition of different hydroxyl radical scavengers resulted in a significant decline (P < 0.001) in rice straw degradation. Pyrolysis gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis revealed the consistency of chemical changes of rice straw components that exists between P. ananatis Sd-1 and Fenton reagent treatment. In addition to the increased total iron ion concentration throughout the rice straw decomposition process, the Fe3+-reducing capacity of P. ananatis Sd-1 was induced by rice straw and predominantly contributed by aromatic compounds metabolites. The transcript levels of the glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase gene related to hydrogen peroxide production were significantly up-regulated (at least P < 0.01) in rice straw cultures. Higher activities of GMC oxidoreductase and less hydrogen peroxide concentration in rice straw cultures relative to glucose cultures may be responsible for increasing rice straw degradation, which includes Fenton-like reactions. Conclusions: Our results confirmed the Fenton chemistry-assisted degradation model in P. ananatis Sd-1. We are among the first to show that a Fenton-based oxidation mechanism exists in a bacteria degradation system, which provides a new perspective for how natural plant biomass is decomposed by bacteria. This degradative system may offer an alternative approach to the fungi system for lignocellulosic biofuels production.

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