Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 1131–1140 | Cite as

Involvement of ligninolytic enzymes and Fenton-like reaction in humic acid degradation by Trametes sp.

  • Tzafrir Grinhut
  • Tomer Meir Salame
  • Yona Chen
  • Yitzhak Hadar
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Trametes sp. M23, isolated from biosolids compost was found to decompose humic acids (HA). A low N (LN) medium (C/N, 53) provided suitable conditions for HA degradation, whereas in a high N (HN) medium (C/N, 10), HA was not degraded. In the absence of Mn2+, HA degradation was similar to that in Mn2+-containing medium. In contrast, MnP activity was significantly affected by Mn2+. Laccase activity exhibited a negative correlation to HA degradation, while LiP activity was not detected. Thus, ligninolytic enzymes activity could provide only a partial explanation for the HA-degradation mechanism. The decolorization of two dyes, Orange II and Brilliant Blue R250, was also determined. Similar to HA degradation, under LN conditions, decolorization occurred independently of the presence of Mn2+. We investigated the possible involvement of a Fenton-like reaction in HA degradation. The addition of DMSO, an OH-radical scavenger, to LN media resulted in a significant decrease in HA bleaching. The rate of extracellular Fe3+ reduction was much higher in the LN vs. HN medium. In addition, the rate of reduction was even higher in the presence of HA in the medium. In vitro HA bleaching in non-inoculated media was observed with H2O2 amendment to a final concentration of 200 mM (obtained by 50 mM amendments for 4 days) and Fe2+ (36 mM). After 4 days of incubation, HA decolorization was similar to the biological treatment. These results support our hypothesis that a Fenton-like reaction is involved in HA degradation by Trametes sp. M23.


Ligninolytic enzymes Humic acid degradation Trametes sp. Humic substances 



This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF). The authors gratefully acknowledge Hagai Akiva for his laboratory assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tzafrir Grinhut
    • 1
  • Tomer Meir Salame
    • 2
  • Yona Chen
    • 1
  • Yitzhak Hadar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil and Water Sciences, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael

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