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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(4), 1393-1417; doi:10.3390/ijerph6041393

Potential of Penicillium Species in the Bioremediation Field

1, 2
1 Grupo de Ecologia da Hidrosfera, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Quinta da torre, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal 2 Unidade de Biotecnologia Ambiental, Quinta da Torre, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Received: 1 February 2009 / Accepted: 17 March 2009 / Published: 9 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
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The effects on the environment of pollution, particularly that caused by various industrial activities, have been responsible for the accelerated fluxes of organic and inorganic matter in the ecosphere. Xenobiotics such as phenol, phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals, even at low concentrations, can be toxic to humans and other forms of life. Many of the remediation technologies currently being used for contaminated soil and water involve not only physical and chemical treatment, but also biological processes, where microbial activity is the responsible for pollutant removal and/or recovery. Fungi are present in aquatic sediments, terrestrial habitats and water surfaces and play a significant part in natural remediation of metal and aromatic compounds. Fungi also have advantages over bacteria since fungal hyphae can penetrate contaminated soil, reaching not only heavy metals but also xenobiotic compounds. Despite of the abundance of such fungi in wastes, penicillia in particular have received little attention in bioremediation and biodegradation studies. Additionally, several studies conducted with different strains of imperfecti fungi, Penicillium spp. have demonstrated their ability to degrade different xenobiotic compounds with low co-substrate requirements, and could be potentially interesting for the development of economically feasible processes for pollutant transformation.
Keywords: Penicillium; biodegradation; bioremediation Penicillium; biodegradation; bioremediation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Leitão, A.L. Potential of Penicillium Species in the Bioremediation Field. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 1393-1417.

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