Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 24, pp 19426–19433 | Cite as

Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by Trichoderma species: a mini review

  • German ZafraEmail author
  • Diana V. Cortés-Espinosa
Review Article


Fungi belonging to Trichoderma genus are ascomycetes found in soils worldwide. Trichoderma has been studied in relation to diverse biotechnological applications and are known as successful colonizers of their common habitats. Members of this genus have been well described as effective biocontrol organisms through the production of secondary metabolites with potential applications as new antibiotics. Even though members of Trichoderma are commonly used for the commercial production of lytic enzymes, as a biological control agent, and also in the food industry, their use in xenobiotic biodegradation is limited. Trichoderma stands out as a genus with a great range of substrate utilization, a high production of antimicrobial compounds, and its ability for environmental opportunism. In this review, we focused on the recent advances in the research of Trichoderma species as potent and efficient aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading organisms, as well as aimed to provide insight into its potential role in the bioremediation of soils contaminated with heavy hydrocarbons. Several Trichoderma species are associated with the ability to metabolize a variety of both high and low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as naphthalene, phenanthrene, chrysene, pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene. PAH-degrading species include Trichoderma hamatum, Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma reesei, Trichoderma koningii, Trichoderma viride, Trichoderma virens, and Trichoderma asperellum using alternate enzyme systems commonly seen in other organisms, such as multicooper laccases, peroxidases, and ring-cleavage dioxygenases. Within these species, T. asperellum stands out as a versatile organism with remarkable degrading abilities, high tolerance, and a remarkable potential to be used as a remediation agent in polluted soils.


Trichoderma Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Soil bioremediation Tolerance Hydrocarbon degradation Trichoderma asperellum 



This work was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) project CB2008-105643, Instituto Politécnico Nacional projects SIP20131157, SIP20144071, and SIP20152025, and CONACYT grant 269828.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico NacionalCentro de Investigación en Biotecnología AplicadaTepetitlaMéxico

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