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Photo credit: Sarah Watkinson

Serpula lacrymans is a brown rot fungus that selectively depolymerises the cellulose component of wood lignocellulose. Residues from fungal brown rot of wood compose most of the carbon sequestered in boreal forest soil. The species S. lacrymans evolved relatively recently from forest fungi, as the economically important 'dry rot' fungus of buildings, with powerful capacity for cellulolysis and mycelial colonization of coarse solid materials. It has potential for the biological conversion of lignocellulose feedstocks (e.g. raw woodchips, straw and other wastes) by releasing soluble oligosaccharides for bioethanol fermentation. Lignin residues can be used for pyrolysis/gasification for bioenergy, or other uses e.g. organic syntheses. S. lacrymans secondary metabolites include many natural products yet to be explored.


Kauserud H, Svegården IB, Sætre G-P, Knudsen H, Stensrud O, Schmidt O, Doi S, Sugiyama T, Högberg N. 2007. Asian origin and rapid global spread of the destructive dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. Molecular Ecology, 16, 3350-3360

Kauserud H, Sætre G-P, Schmidt O, Decock C, Schumacher T. 2006. Genetics of self/nonself recognition in Serpula lacrymans. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 43, 503-510

Högberg N, Svegården IB, Kauserud H. 2006. Isolation and characterization of fifteen polymorphic microsatellite markers for the devastating dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. Molecular Ecology Notes (doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2006.01416.x)

Kauserud H, Högberg N, Knudsen H, Elborne SA, Schumacher T. (2004). Molecular phylogenetics suggest a North American link between the anthropogenic dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans and its wild relative S. himantioides. Molecular Ecology, 13:3137-3146

Kauserud H, Schmidt O, Elfstrand M, Högberg N. (2004). Extremely low AFLP variation in the European dry rot fungus (Serpula lacrymans): implications for self/nonself-recognition. Mycological Research 108, 1264-1270

Schmidt O, Moreth-Kebernik U (1990) Biological and toxicant studies with the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans and new strains obtained by breeding. Holzforschung 44, 1-6

Schmidt O, Moreth-Kebernik U (1991) A simple method for producing basidiomes of Serpula lacrymans in culture. Mycological Research 95, 375-376

Schmidt O, Moreth-Kebernik U (1991) Monokaryon pairings of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. Mycological Research 95, 1382-1386

Watkinson, S.C., Burton, K.S. & Wood, D.A. (2001) Characteristics of intracellular peptidase and proteinase activities from the mycelium of a cord-forming wood decay fungus, Serpula lacrymans Mycological Research (2001), 105, 698-704

Genome Reference(s)