This study suggests a simple three-step screening protocol for the selection of white rot fungi (WRF) capable of degrading polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which combines easily applicable bioassay techniques, and verifies that protocol by evaluating the PAH degradation activity, ligninolytic enzyme secretion, and relevant gene expressions of the selected PAH-degraders. Using 120 fungal strains, a sequence of bioassay techniques was applied: Bavendamm’s reaction (Step 1), remazol brilliant blue R (RBBR) decolorization (Step 2); assays for tolerance to four mixed PAHs—phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene (Step 3). This stepwise protocol selected 14 PAH-degrading WRF, including Microporus vernicipes, Peniophora incarnata, Perenniporia subacida, Phanerochaete sordida, Phlebia acerina, and Phlebia radiata. Of these, P. incarnata exhibited the highest PAH degradative activity, ranging from 40 to > 90%, which was related to the time-variable secretions of three extracellular ligninolytic enzymes: laccase, manganese-dependent peroxidase (MnP) and lignin peroxidase (LiP). Laccase and MnP production by P. incarnata tended to be greater in the early stages of PAH degradation, whereas its LiP production became intensified with decreasing laccase and MnP production. Pilc1 and pimp1 genes encoding laccase and MnP were expressed, indicating the occurrence of extracellular enzyme-driven biodegradation of PAH by the fungal strains.
- Gene expression
- Ligninolytic enzyme
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- White rot fungi
ASJC Scopus subject areas