, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 125–129 | Cite as

A rapid method to screen fungi for resistance to toxic chemicals

  • Bruce C. Alleman
  • Bruce E. Logan
  • Robert L. Gilbertson


Although many species of fungi are able to degrade highly toxic chemicals, only a few species have been evaluated for resistance to toxic effects of these chemicals. In this paper we demonstrate the successful application of a method to rapidly screen several species of fungi for toxicity to chemicals or mixtures of chemicals using pentachlorophenol (PCP) as a model toxic compound. Cellulose antibiotic assay disks were soaked in solutions containing different concentrations of PCP (5, 10, 25, 50, and 80 mg l−1) and then placed in a triangular pattern outside the growing edge of the mycelia of eighteen species of white rot fungi. The plates were incubated and observed for development of inhibition zones (non-growth areas) around the disks. The short-term (24 h) growth of all eighteen species of fungi was inhibited by 5–10 mg-PCP l−1, a range similar to that observed using previously reported techniques. Long-term growth studies using this screening method were not useful since PCP diffused from the disk into the agar, decreasing the applied dose.

Key words

chemical toxicity fungi pentachlorophenol biodegradation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce C. Alleman
    • 1
  • Bruce E. Logan
    • 2
  • Robert L. Gilbertson
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Technology DepartmentBattelle Memorial InstituteColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Environmental Engineering Program, Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering MechanicsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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