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DDT & fungi

 
Jonie Hill
Posts: 8
Location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
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I know fungi is amazing at remediating some of the polluting we've done to the earth, has anyone read any indication that fungi can work to remediate DDT contaminated land??
 
Neil Layton
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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Jonie Hill wrote:I know fungi is amazing at remediating some of the polluting we've done to the earth, has anyone read any indication that fungi can work to remediate DDT contaminated land??


My first thought is that those two carbon rings in the DDT molecule would be open to cracking by fungi.

It turns out that several fungi have been successfully investigated for their ability to degrade DDT.

One, Xerocomus chrysenteron, is an edible bolete: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23651556 Note, however, that much of the DDT was retained in the mycelium and not degraded. Note that DDT degrades to DDE, which is also toxic to humans. I haven't read the full paper, so I don't know what the DDT in this sample degraded to. I'd be fairly confident the fungus cracked open those carbon rings, rather than just stripping out chlorine atoms to convert it to DDE, but I'm not the world's greatest chemist, so don't quote me without checking.

Gloeophyllum trabeum
is a pathogenic brown rot fungus, which will also clean up DDT. This fungus may have been picked as a known model organism for this study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964830511000680

Then you have Phanerochaete chrysosporium, which has been used to deal with DDT in soils (see, for example http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11368-013-0705-3#/page-1)

Short answer: yes.




 
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