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Biodegradation of PAHs by fungi in contaminated-soil containing cadmium and nickel ions

HI Atagana


The study investigated the degradation of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a) fluoranthene, benzo(a) pyrene, chrysene and phenanthrene in a soil that was sterilized and inoculated with the nonligninolytic fungi, Fusarium flocciferum and Trichoderma spp. and the ligninolytic fungi, Trametes versicolor and Pleurotus ostreatus in the presence of cadmium (Cd) and nickel (Ni) during a ten week incubation period. The soil pH was initially 5.3 and after amendment increased to 7.0. The fungi degraded the tested PAHs between 21 and 93% by the end of the tenth week. The fungi degraded the less-soluble PAHs containing five or six aromatic rings more slowly than those containing fewer aromatic rings. Although the presence of cadmium and nickel in the soil affected the activity of the enzymes produced by the fungi, no significant decrease in PAH degradation was found in the contaminated soil containing 50 or 100 mg kg-1 of Cd and Ni. However, at 300 and 500 mg kg-1, degradation of the PAHs by the fungi was impaired and the severity of the impairments increased with
the increase in the concentrations of Cd and Ni. This was probably due to the lack of the activities of some enzymes such as Mn-dependent peroxidase, which could have resulted from the poor colonization
of the fungi at these concentrations.

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eISSN: 1684-5315