3 Biotech

, 9:403 | Cite as

Growth management of white-rot fungus Phlebia brevispora improved degradation of high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

  • Joy L. Harry-asobara
  • Ichiro KameiEmail author
Original Article


The effect of co-culturing white-rot fungus Phlebia brevispora with growth-promoting bacterial strains Enterobacter sp. TN3W-14 and Pseudomonas sp. TN3W-8 on the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was evaluated in liquid culture. In axenic cultures, P. brevispora strains TN3F and TMIC33929 showed high degradation of phenanthrene (> 98%) within 15 days, and degraded 65% and 63% of pyrene, and 12% and 8% of benzo(a)pyrene, respectively. This low level of degradation ability toward benzo(a)pyrene was improved significantly by co-culturing the fungi with a mixture of bacterial strains TN3W-8 and TN3W-14 (mixed bacterial co-culture; MBC). Within 15 days, P. brevispora TN3F with MBC achieved about 86% pyrene and 53% benzo(a)pyrene degradation; P. brevispora TMIC33929 with MBC showed 92% pyrene and 72% benzo(a)pyrene degradation. The MBC alone degraded little PAH, as its growth was inhibited by PAH; however, its co-culture with P. brevispora improved mycelial growth of the fungus, which led to improved degradation of the PAHs. A possible dihydrodiol metabolite of pyrene from fungal cultures suggests that hydroxylation was the first step in the degradation of pyrene by P. brevispora.


Fungal growth management Microbial degradation Phlebia brevispora Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon 



This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (Grant Nos. 18H02257 and 17K19296). We thank Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agriculture and EngineeringUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan
  2. 2.Division of Forest Science, Department of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan

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