PYRENE REMEDIATION

  • Researchers at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) have identified a fungus capable of removing toxic, recalcitrant (Not easily controlled), and carcinogenic Pyrene or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the environment.
  • The researchers used gas chromatographic-mass spectrometer and serotome analysis for their study.
  • Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric identification of prominent metabolites helped determine the pyrene degradation pathway and Serotome analysis in pyrene degradation helped understand the degradation mechanism of pyrene.
  • Pyrene, possessing four benzene rings, belongs to the highly toxic class of PAHs, with carcinogenic and mutagenic properties.
  • It gets lodged into the environmental matrices like soil, water and atmosphere, resulting in widespread environmental pollution, necessitating adequate remediation of contaminated environmental matrices.
  • The rapid pace of economic development and industrialisation has resulted in the release of several PAHs into the environment.
  • PAHs are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. These are ubiquitous environmental pollutants originating from multiple sources, including combustion of petrogenic fossil fuels, and incomplete incineration of municipal wastes and biomass.

Findings

  • Identified a white-rot fungus Trametesmaxima IIPLC-32, which has the potential to cause microbial degradation of pyrene.
  • Growing on dead plants, this fungus causes pyrene degradation using special enzymes.
  • The pyrene concentration decreased by 79.8%, 65.37% and 56.37% within 16 days from the initial levels of 10 mg per litre, 25 mg per litre and 50 mg per litre, respectively.
  • This fungus acts to decrease the pollution level of the soil.

Implications

  • The fungus can cause microbial degradation, thereby improving the soil quality.
  • The fungus T.maxima may prove to be helpful in the remediation of especially pyrene.
  • What are the Recommendations?
  • To combat pollution cause by the rapid pace of economic development and industrialisation, resources are already present in the environment, which must be appropriately tapped by us.
  • maxima IIPLC-32 can be tried in the future for the bioremediation of PAH-contaminated aquatic environments. 

Bioremediation

  • Bioremediation is a branch of biotechnology that employs the use of living organisms, like microbes and bacteria to decontaminate affected areas.
  • It is used in the removal of contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from soil, water, and other environments.
  • Bioremediation is used to clean up oil spills or contaminated groundwater.
  • Bioremediation may be done “in situ”–at the site of the contamination–or “ex situ”–away from the site.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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