GROWTH OF COLONIES AND HYPHAL ULTRASTRUCTURE OF FILAMENTOUS FUNGI GROWN ON DIBUTYL PHTHALATE AND DI (2-ETHYLHEXYL)PHTHALATE
Phthalates are compounds that give flexibility to the plastics and are considered mutagens and teratogens. Mycelial growth rate, biomass production and hyphal diameter of the young and mature zones of colonies of Fusarium oxysporum, Mortierella alpina, Pleurotus pulmonarius, two strains of Pleurotus ostreatus (Po 37 and Po 83) and one strain of Pleurotus florida grown on glucose, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate were studied. F. oxysporum had the highest mycelial growth rate on media containing DEHP (270 mm/d) than on medium added with glucose (90 mm/d). From all the fungi, P. florida produced the highest amount of biomass in medium containing glucose (280 mg/cm2). F. oxysporum and M. alpina produced the highest amount of biomass in media containing DEHP (200 and 82 mg/cm2, respectively). This research suggests that some of these fungi (e.g. F. oxysporum and M. alpina) are able to use these compounds as sole carbon and energy sources, and that the hyphal diameter of some strains was affected by these phthalates. However, further studies need to be carried out on physiology of fungi, on the effect of phthalates in the hypha ultrastructure and on the degradation of phthalates to increase our current understanding of the fungal biodegradation of these compounds
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