Iron stress response and bioaccumulation potential of three fungal strains isolated from sewage-irrigated soil
J Appl Microbiol. 2021 Nov 18. doi: 10.1111/jam.15372. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: Contamination with heavy metal (HM) is a severe environmental issue. Therefore, there is a pressing need to create environmentally safe and cost-effective HM bioremediation approaches.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Three iron-tolerant fungal strains were isolated from sewage-irrigated soils, molecularly identified and deposited in the GenBank as Aspergillus flavus MT639638, A. terreus MT605370, and Fusarium oxysporum MT605399. The fungal growth, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), tolerance index (TI), removal efficiency, bioaccumulation, and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were determined. Based on MIC values, A. flavus MT639638 was the most resistant strain. F. oxysporum displayed the highest percent removal efficiency (93.65% at 4000 mg L-1 ) followed by A. flavus (92.92%, at 11000 mg L-1 ), and A. terreus (91.18% at 3000 mg L-1 ). F. oxysporum was selected based on its highly sensitivity for further characterization of its response to Fe(II) stress using TEM, SEM, and EDX, in addition to HPLC analysis of organic acids. These analyses demonstrated the localization of bioaccumulated Fe(II) and ultrastructural changes induced by iron and indicated induction release of organic acids.
CONCLUSIONS: Our fungal strains showed an effective capacity for removal of Fe(II) via bioaccumulation and biosorption mechanisms which were supported by instrumental analyses. The iron tolerance potentiality was mediated by induction of selected antioxidative enzymes and biomolecules.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study depicts a potential utilization of the three fungal strains for the bioremediation of iron-contaminated soils.