Bioremediation of Phenol by Mutated and Immobilized Aspergillus and Penicillium Species
Phenol and its chemical derivatives are essential for production of polycarbonates epoxies, bakelite, nylon, detergents, herbicides, and numerous pharmaceutical drugs. In order to increase the biodegradation of phenol by fungi, fungal strains (Aspergillus niger, Penicillium griseofulvum and Aspergillus terreus), were isolated from different contaminated sites in Saudi Arabia such as Jeddah Governate, the second industrial city of Jeddah, some garbage collection places, gas stations and Red Sea), then screened for phenol degradation. For the first time in Saudi Arabia, biodegradation of phenol by fungi is improved by mutation as well as immobilization of fungi above calcium alginate. The isolated fungal strains (Aspergillus niger, Penicillium griseofulvum and Aspergillus terreus), were mutated physically (UV) and chemically (Ethidium bromide), also immobilized in alginate beads and its phenol degradation efficiency was observed. The degradation was increased many fold after immobilization, but after mutation some mutants appeared highly degradation rate for the phenol such as Aspergillus niger, and Penicillium griseofulvum but Aspergillus terreus appeared highly degradation rate for the phenol only after exposure to UV for 5 and 10 mins only than the wild strains. In addition, phenol degradation was increased with increase the fungal disk size of the tested strains.
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