Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 610–617 | Cite as

Biosorption of copper by fungal melanin

  • Geoffrey M. Gadd
  • Louise de Rome
Environmental Microbiology


Melanin obtained from Aureobasidium pullulans and Cladosporium resinae was an efficient biosorbent for copper. Copper uptake could be expressed using various adsorption isotherms; melanin from A. pullulans obeyed Freundlich and Langmuir isotherms whereas C. resinae melanin followed the BET isotherm indicating a more complex type of adsorption than in A. pullulans. In general, uptake capacities of melanin were greater than for intact biomass and the higher uptake by pigmented rather than albino biomass could be correlated with the presence of melanin. Cu2+ was less readily desorbed from melanin by dilute mineral acids than from intact biomass and again, the relative ease of Cu2+ desorption from pre-loaded pigmented or albino biomass was correlated with the presence or absence of melanin. Mg2+ and Zn2+ appeared to be the most effective cations for desorption with Na+ and K+ the least effective. The addition of melanin to a coppercontaining culture of the albino strain of A. pullulans resulted in some reduction of toxicity.


Copper Biomass Toxicity Adsorption Isotherm Biosorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey M. Gadd
    • 1
  • Louise de Rome
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland, U.K.

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