Keratinolytic Fungi as Indicators of Hydrocarbon Contamination and Bioremediation Progress in a Petroleum Refinery
1*. K. Ulfig, 1. G. Płaza, 1. A. Worsztynowicz, 1. T. Mańko, 2,3. A.J. Tien, 2. R. L. Brigmon
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1. Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas, 40-832 Katowice, Kossutha St. 6, Poland
2. Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Savannah River Technology Center, Environmental Biotechnology Section,
Aiken, S.C. 29808, USA 3. Holcim Group Support Ltd., Corporate Industrial Ecology, CH-51113 Holderbank, Switzerland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2003;12(2):245–250
Keratinolytic fungi were examined in soil heavily contaminated with petroleum waste during long-term bioremediation in a biopile at the Czechowice Oil Refinery located in southern Poland. Soil chemistry and associated microbiological parameters were monitored for 39 months to assess the bioremediation process at this site. These fungi were found to occur relatively frequently in the biopile, with the geophilic dermatophyte, Trichophyton ajelloi (teleomorph Arthroderma uncinatum) as the predominant fungal species. Fungal growth was found to depend on the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons and their polar derivatives in soil. Results demonstrate that the keratinolytic fungi are a potential tool for assessment of soil petroleum hydrocarbon contamination and associated bioremediation progress.