Indian Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 482–487 | Cite as

Bioremediation of Heavy Metals in Liquid Media Through Fungi Isolated from Contaminated Sources

  • P. K. Joshi
  • Anand Swarup
  • Sonu Maheshwari
  • Raman Kumar
  • Namita Singh
Original Article


Wastewater particularly from electroplating, paint, leather, metal and tanning industries contain enormous amount of heavy metals. Microorganisms including fungi have been reported to exclude heavy metals from wastewater through bioaccumulation and biosorption at low cost and in eco-friendly way. An attempt was, therefore, made to isolate fungi from sites contaminated with heavy metals for higher tolerance and removal of heavy metals from wastewater. Seventy-six fungal isolates tolerant to heavy metals like Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni were isolated from sewage, sludge and industrial effluents containing heavy metals. Four fungi (Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Aspegillus awamori, Aspergillus flavus, Trichoderma viride) also were included in this study. The majority of the fungal isolates were able to tolerate up to 400 ppm concentration of Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni. The most heavy metal tolerant fungi were studied for removal of heavy metals from liquid media at 50 ppm concentration. Results indicated removal of substantial amount of heavy metals by some of the fungi. With respect to Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni, maximum uptake of 59.67, 16.25, 0.55, and 0.55 mg/g was observed by fungi Pb3 (Aspergillus terreus), Trichoderma viride, Cr8 (Trichoderma longibrachiatum), and isolate Ni27 (A. niger) respectively. This indicated the potential of these fungi as biosorbent for removal of heavy metals from wastewater and industrial effluents containing higher concentration of heavy metals.


Industrial wastewater Fungi Biosorbent Bioaccumulation Heavy metals 



The authors are thankful to the Director, CSSRI, Karnal and Head, Division of Soils and Crop Management, CSSRI, Karnal for providing all the laboratory facilities for this work.


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Joshi
    • 1
  • Anand Swarup
    • 2
  • Sonu Maheshwari
    • 1
  • Raman Kumar
    • 1
  • Namita Singh
    • 3
  1. 1.Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteKarnalIndia
  2. 2.Division of Soil Science and Agricultural ChemistryIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Bio and NanotechnologyGJUS&THisarIndia

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