eLignin Database

Welcome to the database on microbial lignin catabolism

Lignin is an aromatic biopolymer and one of the major components of lignocellulosic biomass (e.g. wood and agricultural waste). Due to its high recalcitrance and heterogeneity, lignin has proven challenging to depolymerize (a prerequisite if lignin is to emerge as potential renewable feedstock for e.g. sustainable production of platform chemicals).

In nature, lignin is degraded by microbes in a symbiotic relationship between rot-type fungi and prokaryotes: the fungi degrade the polymer to aromatic compounds, which in turn are metabolized by the fungi and prokaryotes. However, there exists a great diversity of metabolic pathways that has evolved in parallel and which allows efficient utilization of the heterogeneous (aromatic)products that result from lignin depolymerization. This database was built to map these microbes and their pathways.

eLignin is a database for collection of data on microbial degradation of lignin and lignin-derived compounds. The aim of the eLignin database is to bring the existing bibliome together in a single searchable platform in order to facilitate the overview of the field and generate new connections between different aspects of the molecular biology of lignin- and aromatic catabolism that occurs in nature. Although many specialized online databases on biological topics exist, we hope and believe that eLignin will fill a gap by combining microbiology, molecular biology, enzymology and metabolic pathways related to lignin catabolism into a single repository.

The database can either be accessed by free-text searches in the searchbar at the top of the page, or by browsing all the entries by category by clicking the "Browse" button in the navigation bar next to the searchbar. For first time vistors, using "Browse" can be helpful to give you a feeling of what type of data that can be found in eLignin.

Once at an entry page (e.g. the page for Pseudomonas putida KT2440), you will find clickable links to all the related information present in the database, such as substrates, pathways, genes and enzymes. A list of all scientific publications used in the data curation can be found by clicking the "References" button in navigation bar. Statistics on the number of entries in the database, as well as staff and contact information, can be found at the "About/Contact" button.

The eLignin database is designed and curated by the Lignin valorization research group at Lund University, Sweden (Group home page: www.lignin.lu.se).

At the moment, a dedicated publication on eLignin is yet to come.
In the meantime, if you want to acknowledge the work that eventually lead to the creation of the eLignin database, please cite the following review:
Abdelaziz, O. Y., Brink, D. P., Prothmann, J.,Ravi, K., Sun, M., García-Hidalgo, J., Sandahl, M., Hulteberg, C.P., Turner, C., Lidén, G., Gorwa-Grauslund, M. F. (2016). Biological valorization of low molecular weight lignin. Biotechnology Advances.

The development of The eLignin database was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research .

With eLignin, we hope to to establish a database that can become a useful resource to the microbial lignin degradation-community, and grow according to the community desires. For this reason, we welcome contributions on data related to the scope of the database. Suggestion of new entries to the eLignin database must come from peer-reviewed scientific publications. We are a manually curated database, and reserve the right to accept or decline suggested material based on our curators' assessment. Please see the About/Contact page for information on how to get in touch with us.


Forest floor in the Bjäre Peninsula, Sweden.
A haven for lignin degrading soil bacteria?
Söderåsen National Park, Sweden. Native lignin in action.


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