Fungal Degradation of Environmental Pollutants
Research into this area occurred for a few years
in the Logan laboratory (at the University of Arizona). In the late
1980's, it was discovered that fungi had an amazing ability to
degrade a variety of environmental pollutants. This amazing ability
was offset by the fact that fungi have extremely complex growth
cycles. What we discovered was that the fungi produced enzymes
necessary for pollutant degradation just prior to the end of their
growth cycle in static flasks. Thus, the time when they were best
able to produce enzymes capable of pollutant decomposition, was just
when the culture life cycle was nearly over due to asphyxiation from
loss of oxygen transport into the growth medium. To overcome this
limitation, we developed a system to study batch growth under
reactor conditions more suitable to fixed film bioreactors such as
trickling filters. These reactors are shown below. Additional
details are contained in the referenced publications below.
bioreactors developed to study pollutant degradation using
biofilms from reactors (left to right): Phanerochaete
chrysosporium ME-446, Trametes versicolor MAD
697, and Inonotus dryophilus RLG 16297
Journal Publications- Fungi
B.C., B.E. Logan, G.L. Amy and R.L. Gilbertson. 1995.
Degradation of pentachlorophenol by white rot fungi in rotating
tube bioreactors. Wat. Res. 29(1):61-67.
B.E., B.C. Alleman, G.L. Amy and R.L. Gilbertson 1994.
Adsorption and removal of pentachlorophenol by white rot fungi
in batch cultures. Wat. Res. 28(7):1533-1538.
B.C., B.E. Logan, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1993. A rapid method
to screen fungi for resistance to toxic chemicals.
B.C., B.E. Logan, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1992. Toxicity of
pentachlorophenol to six species of white rot fungi as a
function of chemical dose. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.,