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First demonstration that ascomycetous halophilic fungi (Aspergillus sydowii and Aspergillus destruens) are useful in xenobiotic mycoremediation under high salinity conditions

González-Abradelo, Deborah, Pérez-Llano, Yordanis, Peidro-Guzmán, Heidy, Sánchez-Carbente, María del Rayo, Folch-Mallol, Jorge Luis, Aranda, Elisabet, Vaidyanathan, Vinoth Kumar, Cabana, Hubert, Gunde-Cimerman, Nina, Batista-García, Ramón Alberto
Bioresource technology 2019 v.279 pp. 287-296
Aspergillus, Basidiomycota, Cucumis sativus, biodegradation, biorefining, carbon, drugs, fungi, phenanthrenes, phytotoxicity, pollutants, salinity, wastewater, xenobiotics
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and pharmaceutical compounds (PhC) are xenobiotics present in many saline wastewaters. Although fungi are known for their ability to remove xenobiotics, the potential of halophilic fungi to degrade highly persistent pollutants was not yet investigated. The use of two halophilic fungi, Aspergillus sydowii and Aspergillus destruens, for the elimination of PAH and PhC at saline conditions was studied. In saline synthetic medium both fungi used benzo-α-pyrene and phenanthrene as sole carbon source and removed over 90% of both PAH, A. sydowii due to biodegradation and A. destruens to bioadsorption. They removed 100% of a mixture of fifteen PAH in saline biorefinery wastewater. Test using Cucumis sativus demonstrated that wastewater treated with the two fungi lowered considerably the phytotoxicity. This study is the first demonstration that ascomycetous halophilic fungi, in contrast to other fungi (and in particular basidiomycetes) can be used for mycotreatments under salinity conditions.