Growth substrate selection and biodegradation of PCP by New Zealand white-rot fungi.

Research paper by M M Walter, L L Boul, R R Chong, C C Ford

Indexed on: 26 Jun '04Published on: 26 Jun '04Published in: Journal of Environmental Management


Nine New Zealand native white-rot fungi were studied for their ability to grow and survive on different substrates formulated from bark, wheat straw, sawdust, apple pomace and maize products in order to identify their pentachlorophenol (PCP) biodegradation potential and to select a fungal carrier for bioaugmentation of polluted soils. Isolates were also evaluated to mineralize (14)C-PCP in liquid culture and in soil. The American fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium outgrew the native fungi on the substrates tested, but the high colonisation did not result in superior PCP dechlorination as measured by chloride release. Whilst Trametes versicolor inocula produced on wheat straw and SCS (sawdust-corn meal-starch-mix) gave the highest chloride release, colonization of these two substrates as measured by biological potential was lower compared to the pomace and pomace-sawdust-mix. Neither lignin peroxidase nor manganese peroxidase production were measured for New Zealand white-rot fungi during the experiments. Laccase was the only enzyme detected. In liquid culture, the mineralisation rate was higher for T. versicolor isolates compared to P. chyrysoporium. Very little to no pentachloroanisole (PCA) was captured in the volatile fraction of T. versicolor isolates, whereas 75% of the volatile fraction of P. chrysosporium consisted of PCA. The soil microcosms studies, using contaminated soil from a timber treatment site, clearly showed that the New Zealand T. versicolor isolates mineralized PCP. Degradation of PCP in non-sterile soil was higher in the presence of white-rot fungi than in soil without white-rot fungus. This demonstrates that viable white-rot fungus is necessary for significant PCP degradation and that T. versicolor isolates showed PCP remediation potential. Wheat straw and SCS could be suitable carriers for New Zealand native T. versicolor isolates for bioremediation of PCP polluted soil sites.