Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology

pp 2079-2110

Degradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Fungi

  • C. E. CernigliaAffiliated withEnvironmental Microbiology Laboratory, Helmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchDivision of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration
  • , J. B. SutherlandAffiliated withEnvironmental Microbiology Laboratory, Helmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchDivision of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration

Abstract:

Many fungi metabolize polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with enzymes that include lignin peroxidase, manganese peroxidase, laccase, cytochrome P450, and epoxide hydrolase. The products include trans-dihydrodiols, phenols, quinones, dihydrodiol epoxides, and tetraols, which may be conjugated to form glucuronides, glucosides, xylosides, and sulfates. The fungal metabolites generally are less toxic than the parent hydrocarbons. Cultures of fungi that degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may be useful for bioremediation of contaminated soils, sediments, and waters.