Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 66–80 | Cite as

Effective bioremediation of heavy metal–contaminated landfill soil through bioaugmentation using consortia of fungi

  • Auwalu HassanEmail author
  • Agamuthu Periathamby
  • Aziz Ahmed
  • Ossai Innocent
  • Fauziah Shahul HamidEmail author
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Heavy metals’ contamination of soil is a serious concern as far as public health and environmental protection are concerned. As a result of their persistent and toxic properties, heavy metals need to be removed from contaminated environments using an efficient technology. This study is aimed to determine the heavy metals’ (Ni, Pb, and Zn) bioremoval capacity of consortia of filamentous fungi from landfill leachate-contaminated soil.

Materials and methods

Three different groups of consortia of fungi, namely all isolated fungi, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota, were employed for the bioremediation of the contaminated soil. A total of thirteen fungal species were used to make up the three consortia. The setup was kept for 100 days during which regular watering was carried out. Soil subsamples were collected at day 20, day 60, and 100 for monitoring of heavy metal concentration, fungal growth, and other physicochemical parameters.

Results and discussion

Highest tolerance index of 1.0 was recorded towards Ni and Zn concentrations. The maximum metal bioremoval efficiency was observed for soil bioaugmented with the all isolated fungi for Ni and Pb with the removal efficiencies as 52% and 44% respectively. However, 36% was realized as the maximum removal for Zn, and was for Ascomycota consortium-treated soil. The order for the heavy metal removal for Ni and Pb is all isolated fungi > Basidiomycota > Ascomycota, while for Zn is Basidiomycota > all isolated fungi > Ascomycota. Spectra analysis revealed the presence of peaks (1485–1445 cm−1) only in the consortia-treated soil which corresponded to the bending of the C–H bond which signifies the presence of methylene group.


Soil treated using bioaugmentation had the best heavy metal removal as compared to that of the control. This suggests the contribution of fungal bioaugmentation in the decontamination of heavy metal–contaminated soil.


Bioaugmentation Consortia Contamination Fungi Heavy metals Soil 



We equally acknowledged the provision of facility by the Center for Research in Waste Management, University of Malaya.

Funding information

This study received sponsorship from the University of Malaya Research Grant (RP011A-14SUS) and Centre of Research Grant Management (PG070-2014B).

Supplementary material

11368_2019_2394_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (32 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 32 kb)
11368_2019_2394_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (33 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 32 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Center for Research in Waste Management, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceFederal University, KashereGombeNigeria
  4. 4.Faculty of Marine SciencesLasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine SciencesUthalPakistan

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