Journal of bioscience and bioengineering

Case study of the relationship between fungi and bacteria associated with high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation.

PMID 22305589


Although bacteria play dominant roles in microbial bioremediation, few of them have been reported that were capable of utilizing high-molecular-weight (HMW) organic pollutants as their sole sources of carbon and energy. However, many soil fungi can metabolize those of pollutants, although they rarely complete mineralization. In this paper, we investigated the dynamic relationship between fungi and bacteria associated with degradation of HMW-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Artificial fungal-bacterial mixed cultures were constructed to simulate the environment of actual polluted sites. Four bacterial strains and seven fungal strains were isolated that related to the removal of phenanthrene, fluoranthene and pyrene in the soil. Furthermore, these strains were used to create mixed culture of bacteria (Bact-mix), mixed culture of fungi (Fung-mix), fungal-bacterial co-cultures (Fung-Bact), respectively. The maximal pyrene removal rate (67%, 28days) was observed in the Fung-Bact, compared with cultures of Fung-mix (39%) and Bact-mix (56%). The same tendency was also indicated in the degradation of phenanthrene and fluoranthene. In addition, a dynamic relationship during the degradation process between fungi and bacteria was monitored through using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) method.