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Jasmine Koshy*, Neethu Chandran and Padma Nambisan

Plant Biotechnology Unit, Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-682 022, Kerala, India.


Phenol is an aromatic hydrocarbon which exists as a colorless or white solid in its pure state. Over the past several decades, there is growing concern about wide spread contamination of surface and ground water by phenol, due to rapid development of chemical and petrochemical industries. Phenol affects aquatic life even at relatively low concentration (5-25mg/L). Treatment for removal of phenol includes chemical as well as biological processes. Studies show that ligninases such as Lignin Peroxidase and Laccase, produced by Pleurotus sp., can degrade phenol. Spent substrate of Pleurotus mushrooms consists of ligninases. Present work was to investigate the potential of spent substrate of edible mushroom P. ostreatus for biodegradation of phenol. P. ostreatus was cultivated on paddy straw. After harvest, spent substrate was utilized for phenol degradation. According to the enzyme profile of two ligninases present in the spent substrate of P. ostreatus, maximum specific activity for Laccase was observed in 35 day old spent substrate and LiP activity was maximum in 56 day old spent substrate, which together contributed significantly for removal of phenol. Spent substrate of 35th and 56th day were each incubated with phenol sample (1:1w/v) for one day, which resulted in degradation of phenol by 48% and 45% respectively. From these results it appears that, spent substrate of P. ostreatus can be used effectively to remove phenol from industrial effluents.

Keywords: Biodegradation, Phenol, Spent substrate, Pleurotus sp.

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