Part of the book: Applied Bioremediation
Contamination by pesticides employed in agriculture has caused serious environmental harm. Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a phenolic organochlorine compound and a dangerous pollutant which was banned from Brazil since 1985; however, there are still many contaminated areas. This pesticide is a serious problem because it has high toxicity and persistence at the environment due to its resistance to biotic and abiotic degradation. The use of microorganisms as degrading agents is considered an efficient method to reduce the adverse effects of environmental contaminants. It is noteworthy that fungi from marine environment are adapted to extreme conditions, including high chlorine concentrations, and can produce unique enzymes with interesting properties. Therefore, marine-derived fungi have an excellent enzymatic potential for the biotransformation of xenobiotics such as organochlorine pesticides. In this work, fifteen fungi strains isolated from a marine invertebrate, the ascidian Didemnun ligulum, were evaluated according to their ability to grow in solid culture media (3% malt extract agar) in the presence of different concentrations (10, 25, 30, 40, and 50 mg L–1) of PCP. Among the tested strains, nine could grow in at least one concentration, and Trichoderma harzianum CBMAI 1677 showed optimal growth at the higher evaluated concentration (50 mg L–1), showing toxicity resistance and suggesting its potential for biodegradation of PCP. In a later work, it was observed that T. harzianum CBMAI 1677 was able to degrade PCP. These results confirmed the efficiency of marine-derived fungi to biodegrade persistent compounds and could enable the development of bioremediation methodologies using these microorganism.
Part of the book: Advances in Bioremediation of Wastewater and Polluted Soil