The phenol oxidases from mature fruiting bodies of (Berk.) Sing., a commercially cultivated mushroom, were studied. The major phenol oxidase was a laccase with a pH optimum near 4.0 and an apparent molecular weight of 100000. Catechol oxidase and tyrosinase were also present. The laccase investigated was primarily extracellular; the highest activity was in the pigmented rind of the pileus and in the stipe. Increased laccase activity was associated with rapid growth of non-pigmented aerial mycelium and formation of pigmented primordia and fruiting bodies. Possible functions of the laccase and its regulation during the development of fruiting bodies are discussed.


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