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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2005 Jun 20;90(6):723-31.

Degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons by white-rot fungi in a historically contaminated soil.

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Dipartimento di Agrobiologia e Agrochimica, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Via S. C. De Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy.


Phanerochaete chrysosporium NRRL 6361 and Pleurotus pulmonarius CBS 664.97 were tested for their ability to grow under nonsterile conditions and to degrade various aromatic hydrocarbons in an aged contaminated soil that also contained high concentrations of heavy metals. After 24 days fungal incubation, carbon-CO2 liberated, an indicator of microbial activity, reached a plateau. At the end of the incubation time (30 days), fungal colonization was clearly visible and was confirmed by ergosterol and cell organic carbon determinations. In spite of unfavorable pH (around 7.4) and the presence of heavy metals, both fungi produced Mn-peroxidase activity. In contrast, laccase and aryl-alcohol oxidase were detected only in the soil treated with P. pulmonarius CBS 664.97 and lignin-peroxidase in that with P. chrysosporium NRRL 6361. No lignin-modifying enzyme activities were present in non-inoculated soil incubated for 30 days (control microcosm). Regardless of the fungus employed, a total removal of naphtalene, tetrachlorobenzene, and dichloroaniline isomers, diphenylether and N-phenyl-1-naphtalenamine, was observed. Significant release of chloride ions was also observed in fungal-treated soil, in comparison with that recorded in the control microcosm. Both fungi led to a significant decrease in soil toxicity, as assessed using two different soil contact assays, including the Lepidium sativum L. germination test and the Collembola mortality test.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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