Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by new isolates of white rot fungi

J. A. Field, E. De Jong, G. F. Costa, J. A.M. De Bont

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324 Scopus citations


Eight rapid Poly R-478 dye-decolorizing isolates from The Netherlands were screened in this study for the biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) supplied at 10 mg liter-1. Several well-known ligninolytic culture collection strains, Phanerochaete chrysosporium BKM-F- 1767, Trametes versicolor Paprican 52, and Bjerkandera adusta CBS 595.78 were tested in parallel. All of the strains significantly removed anthracene, and nine of the strains significantly removed benzo[a]pyrene beyond the limited losses observed in sterile liquid and HgCl2-poisoned fungus controls. One of the new isolates, Bjerkandera sp. strain Bos 55, was the best degrader of both anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene, removing 99.2 and 83.1% of these compounds after 28 days, respectively. Half of the strains, exemplified by strains of the genera Bjerkandera and Phanerochaete, converted anthracene to anthraquinone, which was found to be a dead-end metabolite, in high yields. The extracellular fluids of selected strains were shown to be implicated in this conversion. In contrast, four Trametes strains removed anthracene without significant accumulation of the quinone. The ability of Trametes strains to degrade anthraquinone was confirmed in this study. None of the strains accumulated PAH quinones during benzo[a]pyrene degradation. Biodegradation of PAH by the various strains was highly correlated to the rate by which they decolorized Poly R-478 dye, demonstrating that ligninolytic indicators are useful in screening for promising PAH-degrading white rot fungal strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2219-2226
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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