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Leopoldo Naranjo-Briceño, Beatriz Pernía, Mayamaru Guerra, Jhonny R. Demey, Ángela De Sisto, Ysvic Inojosa, Meralys González, Emidio Fusella, Miguel Freites and Francisco Yegres Potential role of oxidative exoenzymes of the extremophilic fungus Pestalotiopsis palmarum BM-04 in biotransformation of extra-heavy crude oil Microbial Biotechnology 6

Article first published online: 1 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.12067

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Oxidative exoenzymes (OE) of the lignin-degrading enzyme system (LDS) of fungi catalyze the oxidation of a wide range of toxic pollutants. However, very little evidences on fungal degradation or biotransformation of extra-heavy crude oil (EHCO) have been reported. The aims of this work were to study the ability of Pestalotiopsis palmarum BM-04 to synthesize OE, its potential to biotransform EHCO and to survive in extreme environmental conditions. Enzymatic studies of the LDS showed the ability of this fungus to overproduce high amounts of laccase (LACp) or lignin peroxidase (LIPp) in presence of wheat bran or EHCO as sole carbon and energy source, respectively. FT-IR-ATR spectroscopy analysis showed the enzymatic oxidation of carbon and sulfur atoms in both maltenes and asphaltenes fractions of biotreated EHCO. Tolerance assays showed the ability of this fungus to grow up to 50000 ppm of EHCO and 2000 mM of NaCl. These results suggest that P. palmarum BM-04 is a hopeful alternative to be used in remediation processes in extreme environmental conditions of salinity and EHCO-contamination.

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