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Keywords:

  • White rot fungus;
  • Pesticide degradation;
  • Ligninolytic potential;
  • Poly R-478;
  • Bioremediation

Abstract

The capacity of nine species of white rot fungus from a variety of basidiomycete orders to degrade contrasting mono-aromatic pesticides was investigated. There was no relationship between degradation of the dye Poly R-478, a presumptive test for ligninolytic potential, and degradation of the highly available pesticides diuron, metalaxyl, atrazine or terbuthylazine in liquid culture. However, there were significant positive correlations between the rates of degradation of the different pesticides. Greatest degradation of all the pesticides was achieved by Coriolus versicolor, Hypholoma fasciculare and Stereum hirsutum. After 42 days, maximum degradation of diuron, atrazine and terbuthylazine was above 86%, but for metalaxyl less than 44%. When grown in the organic matrix of an on-farm ‘biobed’ pesticide remediation system, relative degradation rates of the highly available pesticides by C. versicolor, H. fasciculare and S. hirsutum showed some differences to those in liquid culture. While H. fasciculare and C. versicolor were able to degrade about a third of the poorly available compound chlorpyrifos in biobed matrix after 42 days, S. hirsutum, which was the most effective degrader of the available pesticides, showed little capacity to degrade the compound.