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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Jan 15;185(1):174-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.09.015. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Biodegradation of anthracene by Aspergillus fumigatus.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, PR China.


An anthracene-degrading strain, identified as Aspergillus fumigatus, showed a favorable ability in degradation of anthracene. The degradation efficiency could be maintained at about 60% after 5d with initial pH of the medium kept between 5 and 7.5, and the optimal temperature of 30 °C. The activity of this strain was not affected significantly by high salinity. Exploration on co-metabolism showed that the highest degradation efficiency was reached at equal concentration of lactose and anthracene. Excessive carbon source would actually hamper the degradation efficiency. Meanwhile, the strain could utilize some aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, phenol etc. as sole source of carbon and energy, indicating its degradation diversity. Experiments on enzymatic degradation indicated that extracellular enzymes secreted by A. fumigatus could metabolize anthracene effectively, in which the lignin peroxidase may be the most important constituent. Analysis of ion chromatography showed that the release of anions of A. fumigatus was not affected by addition of anthracene. GC-MS analysis revealed that the molecular structure of anthracene changed with the action of the microbe, generating a series of intermediate compounds such as phthalic anhydride, anthrone and anthraquinone by ring-cleavage reactions.

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