Co-substrate-mediated utilization of high concentration of phenol by Aspergillus niger FP7 and reduction of its phytotoxicity on Vigna radiata L
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Apr 23. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-13947-x. Online ahead of print.
Phenol and its derivatives behave as mutagens, teratogens and carcinogens inducing adverse physiological effects and are considered environmental hazards. The present study focuses on high concentration phenol utilization by Aspergillus niger FP7 under various physicochemical parameters. The soil remediation potential of the culture for reducing phenol toxicity against Vigna radiata L. seed germination was also evaluated along with the extent of phenol utilization using high-performance liquid chromatography. Aspergillus niger FP7 showed phenol tolerance up to 1000 mg/l, beyond which there was a sharp reduction in phenol utilization. Supplementation of the mineral salt medium with glucose and peptone and application of a 100 rpm agitation rate enhanced phenol utilization (up to 88.3%). Phenol utilization efficiency decreased (up to 29.6%) when cadmium and mercury salts were present, but the same improved (59.4-75.5%) by the incorporation of cobalt, copper and zinc salts. Vigna radiata L. seeds sown in the non-augmented soil revealed a 3.27% germination index, and with fungal augmentation, the germination index improved (97.3%). The non-augmented soil demonstrated 3.1% phenol utilization, while for the augmented soil, the utilization was 79.3%. Based on the phytotoxicity study and chromatographic analysis, it could be inferred that Aspergillus niger FP7 significantly enhanced phenol utilization in soil. In the future, Aspergillus niger FP7 could be of potential use in bioremediation of sites polluted with high concentrations of phenol.