Screening white-rot fungi for bioremediation potential of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

Anh T.N. Dao, Jet Vonck, Thierry K.S. Janssens, Ha T.C. Dang, Abraham Brouwer, Tjalf E. de Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Ligninolytic fungi contain a number of representative strains consisting of mainly white-rot fungi (WRF) that produce lignin-modifying enzymes (LME) such as laccases and manganese peroxidases. Lignin-modifying enzymes are multipurpose enzymes which have potential for application in various fields such as, for example, bioremediation and biomass conversion. Because of the non-specific nature of these enzymes, they are also capable of biodegradation and removal of xenobiotic pollutants. In this study we used a tiered screening process where we screened over 70 Vietnamese WRF fungal isolates for LME activity and subsequently for the ability to breakdown the dioxin TCDD. After the initial screening we selected four fungal strains, which belong to the order of Polyporales, which excreted high laccase enzyme levels. The most active fungus being isolate FMD21, a species of Rigidoporus, which was isolated from a forest in the South of Vietnam and which produced both laccase and manganese peroxidase. In the optimized PDSRb medium, FMD21 laccase levels reaced activities of 238800 U/L after 10 days while MnP activity showed the highest activity at day 4 of aproximately 40 U/L. 2,3,7,8-TCDD, which is the most toxic dioxin congener, is a persistent organic pollutant of which few organisms are known that break it down. After the final screening, FMD21 was the only fungus capable of degrading TCDD and was able to reach a breakdown percentage of 73% after 28 days culture with a start concentration of 0.5 pg TEQ/μL TCDD. Co-cultivation experiments of up to three fungi were performed to test for a synergistic breakdown effect of TCDD but such an effect was not observed. FMD21 is a fungus that shows a potential to be used as a bioremediation agent to clean up dioxin contamination in the environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-161
    Number of pages9
    JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
    Early online date13 Nov 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


    • Dioxin breakdown
    • Ligninolytic enzymes
    • Mycoremediation
    • TCDD
    • White-rot fungus


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