Hydrocarbon Degradation By Mixed Cultures

Several experiments have shown that the mineralization of hydrocarbons in nature may require the combined efforts of both fungi and bacteria (Juhasz and Naidu 2000). Pyrene mineralization by Dichomitus squalens and Pleurotus sp. was enhanced by soil microorganisms (in der Wiesche et al. 1996). The mineralization of benzo[a]pyrene by Bjerkandera sp. more than doubled after the addition of activated sludge (Kotterman et al. 1998). P. janthinellum, when mixed with the bacterium Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, mineralized pyrene, chrysene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene (Boonchan et al. 2000).

Benzo[a] pyrene

Benzo[a] pyrene

Benzo[a] pyrene irans-7,8-dihydrodio

Benzo[a]pyrene 6.12-quinone


7ß,8a,9a,10[i-Tetrahydroxy-7,8,9,10 -let rah yd rob e n zo[a ] pyre ne

Ben zo [a] pyre ne irans-9,10-clihydrodiol

ho H

Benzo[a]pyrene T.S-dihydrodiol-S.10-epoxide

Benzo[a]pyrene glucuronide


9-Hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene o o

Ben 20 [a] pyre ne 1,6-quinone

ho h



Figure 4 Benzo[a]pyrene and the metabolites that have been identified in cultures of Cunninghamella elegans (adapted from Cerniglia and Gibson 1979; Cerniglia et al. 1992; Cerniglia 1997). The absolute stereochemistry of some of the compounds and the structures of the glucuronide and sulfate conjugates are not known.

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