Studies on decolorization of reactive blue 19 textile dye by Coprinus plicatilis
© Akdogan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Received: 23 July 2013
Accepted: 10 February 2014
Published: 24 February 2014
Studies were carried on the decolorization of the textile dye reactive blue 19 (RB 19) by a novel isolate of Coprinus plicatilis (C. plicatilis) fungi. We describe an in vitro optimization process for decolorization and its behavior under different conditions of carbon and nitrogen sources, pH, temperature and substrate concentration.
The optimal conditions for decolorization were obtained in media containing intermediate concentrations of ammonium oxalate and glucose (10 g/L) as nitrogen and carbon sources, respectively, at 26°C and pH = 5.5. Maximum decolorization efficiency against RB 19 achieved in this study was around 99%. Ultra-violet and visible (UV-vis) spectrophotometric analyses, before and after decolorization, suggest that decolorization was due to biodegradation.
This effect was associated with laccase enzyme displaying good tolerance to a wide range of pH values, salt concentrations and temperatures, suggesting a potential role for this organism in the remediation of real dye containing effluents. In conclusion, laccase activity in C. plicatilis was firstly described in this study.
KeywordsReactive blue 19 White rot fungi Decolorization Metabolite UV-vis
Treatment of synthetic dyes in wastewater is a matter of great concern. Several physical and chemical methods have been employed for the removal of dyes . However, these procedures have not been widely used due to high cost, formation of hazardous by products and intensive energy requirement . Worldwide over 10,000 different dyes and pigments are used in dyeing and printing industries. The total world colorant production is estimated to be 8.00.000 tons per year and at least 10% of the used dyestuff enters the environment through wastes [3, 4]. Wastewater from textile industries constitutes a threat to the environment in many parts of the world. Although some of the dyes are not themselves toxic, after release into the aquatic environment their degradation products are often carcinogenic [5, 6]. The existing technologies for decolorization of textile dyeing effluents like adsorption, precipitation, membrane filtration, chemical degradation and photochemical degradation are relatively expensive and commercially unattractive [7, 8]. Coagulation-flocculation has major operational problems as it generates large amounts of sludge. Adsorption technique is also more expensive as it involves the use of powdered activated carbon as adsorbent and disposal of spent adsorbent  is still a problem. Microbial decolorization is a potential and an effective alternative for the decolorization of wastewater. Microbial decolorization methods of textile dye containing effluents have been reviewed and reported. White-rot fungi such as Phanerochaete chrysosporium[10, 11], Trametes versicolor[12, 13], Bjerkandera adusta, Pycnoporus cinnabarinus and Phanerochaete sordida have been shown to decolorize textile dyes or coloured effluents .
In recent years, the utilization of biodegradative abilities of some white rot fungi seems to be promising. They do not require preconditioning to particular pollutants and owing to their extracellular non-specific free radical-based enzymatic system they can degrade to nondetectable levels or even completely eliminate a variety of xenobiotics including synthetic dyes. Many white rot fungi (Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pleurotus ostreatus, Bjerkandera adusta, Trametes versicolor, etc.) have been intensively studied in connection with their ligninolytic enzyme production and their decolorization ability [18–25]. This capability is due to extracellular non-specific and non-stereoselective enzyme systems composed of laccases (EC 18.104.22.168), lignin peroxidases (EC 22.214.171.124) and manganese peroxidases (EC 126.96.36.199) . Laccase based decolorization treatments are potentially advantageous to bioremediation Technologies since the enzyme is produced in larger amounts mainly by numerous fungi [27, 28]. Laccase belongs to a family of multi-copper oxidases that are widespread in nature. Laccases are related to oxidation of a range of aromatic, toxic and environmentally problematic substrates  and particular interest with industrial applications. The potential applications are in the textile industry , detoxification of pollutants and industrial effluents , pulp and paper industry , food and pharmaceutical industries  biosensor and biofuel applications .
The aim of the present work was to characterize the biodegradation of the textile dye Remazol reactive blue 19, by the action of soluble extracts from the white rot fungus C. plicatilis. We describe an in vitro optimization process for decolorization and its behavior under different conditions of carbon and nitrogen sources, pH, temperature and substrate concentration.
Materials and methods
Dyes and chemicals
Textile Remazol dye: reactive blue 19 (RB 19) was supplied by Dystar (Kocaeli, Turkey). 2,2-Azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) was obtained from Sigma Chemical Company (St. Louis, MO, USA). All chemicals used were of the highest purity available and of analytical grade.
Mycelial suspension of Coprinus plicatilis isolated in our university fungus research Laboratory. The white rot fungi Coprinus plicatilis (C. plicatilis) were maintained on 2% (w/v) malt agar slants at 4°C and were then activated at 26°C for 3 days. The mycelium were harvested with a sterile 0.9% NaCl solution and were then inoculated into 100 mL of 2% malt extract broth (pH = 4.5) in 250 mL Erlenmeyer flasks at 26°C and 175 rpm for 4 days. Pellets were inoculated into the medium consisting of 10 g/L glucose, 1.0 g/L of NH4H2PO4, 0.05 g/L of MgSO4.7H2O, 0.01 g/L of CaCl2, 0.025 g/L of yeast extract. Cultivation was carried out in an orbital shaker incubator, at 26°C, 175 rpm . At the beginning of the fourth day of incubation, dye solution was added to the flasks, aseptically, at desired concentrations. Aliquots were assayed for laccase activity. Experiments were performed in 250 mL Erlenmeyer flasks containing 50 mL of liquid medium. For biomass calculation, mycelia were filtered through previously dried and tared Whatman No. 1 filter papers, washed with distilled water and dried at 50°C to constant weight.
Aliquots of 1–2 mL volume of clear dye solution were taken from each reaction flask at regular time intervals and measured immediately using a UV-vis recording double beam spectrophotometer (Shimadzu UV-1601). Decolorization was determined spectrophotometrically by monitoring the absorbance at the wavelength maximum for this dye, and by the reduction of the major peak area in the visible region for dye. The percentage of in culture decolorization was calculated as;
Biodegradation Rate = (C0-C)/Incubation day
C0: Initial concentration of dye, C: Last concentration of dye
Optimization of carbon and nitrogen content for enzyme production
Six different carbon substrates (glucose, sucrose, starch, maltose, fructose and glycerol) and nitrogen sources (sodium nitrate, urea, ammonium tartrate, ammonium carbonate, ammonium oxalate and peptone) were used to substitute the original carbon and nitrogen sources. The assessed concentrations were 5, 10 and 15 g/L. All inoculated media were incubated for 15 days at 26°C in the dark and the supernatant or eluted extracts collected for further analysis.
Effect of pH, temperature and copper supplementation on enzyme production
Cultures optimized for carbon and nitrogen content were supplemented with copper sulfate (0.1-5 mM) and incubated for 15 days at 26°C. Supernatants or soluble extracts were then submitted to decolorization. Additionally, destaining activity was measured in samples derived from cultures grown at 26, 30 and 35°C for 15 days and at pH values from 5.5 to 7.0 at 26°C for 15 days.
Laccase (Lac) (EC 188.8.131.52) production was assessed by a measurement of the enzymatic oxidation of 2, 22-azinobis-(3 ethylbenzothiazoline- 6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) at 420 nm (ϵ = 3.6 × 104 cm-1 M-1) . The reaction mixture contained 300 μL of extracellular fluid, 300 μL of 1 μM ABTS and 0.1 M Na Acetate buffer (pH = 4.5, 400 μL). One unit of enzyme activity is defined as the amount of enzyme that oxidizes 1 μmol ABTS in one minute.
Effect of pH, temperature and salt concentration on decolorization
Soluble extracts derived from 15-day-old solid or liquid cultures, carried out under optimized conditions, were tested for decolorization. Decolorization of RB 19 (50 mg/L) was carried out at pH values from 2 to 9 (intervals of 0.5 units), adjusted by using 50 mM citrate-phosphate buffer. The temperatures assessed were 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70°C. For testing susceptibility to salt, different NaCl concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 M) were used in the assay.
Standard deviations of the results of triplicate samples from the flask studies were calculated using the Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Program.
Screening using reactive dyes
Effect of dye concentration and water content on fungal growth
In order to determine whether the fungal products responsible for dye decolorization were secreted or mycelium-associated, supernatants and mycelia from dead liquid cultures and eluted extracts from dead solid cultures were subjected to decolorization. Decolorization was highest in supernatants and eluted extracts, with relatively low decolorization being detected in mycelia (results not shown). Decolorization eluted from solid cultures was very similar to that obtained in the supernatants obtained from liquid cultures. Also, an RB 19 concentration of 50 mg/L was selected. At this concentration the dye was totally consumed and slightly higher decolorizations were obtained in the culture extracts.
Effect of carbon and nitrogen content on decolorization
When nitrogen sources were assessed, using fructose (10 g/L) and glucose (10 g/L) as carbon sources (maltose was omitted due to its high cost), soluble extracts derived from cultures containing 5 g/L sodium nitrate, 15 g/L ammonium tartrate and 10 g/L ammonium oxalate performed the highest decolorization (Figure 4B). Again, some substrates promoted the decolorization and some of them, such as urea and ammonium chloride, were inhibitory. A significant observation is that the effect of a nitrogen source can depend on the accompanying carbon substrate. Thus, soluble extracts derived from cultures containing 5 g/L urea led to a 10% decolorization of this dye when combined with 5 g/L fructose in the culture medium, but when combined with 5 g/L glucose, this same concentration of urea gave a 5-fold higher decolorization. A similar effect was observed for 10 and 15 g/L ammonium oxalate with fructose and glucose.
Effect of pH, temperature and copper amount of cultures on decolorization of dye
Effect of pH, temperature and copper concentration on decolorization (initial dye concentration; 50 mg/L)
T°C % Decolorization
26 95.1 ± 0.6
30 21.4 ± 2.3
35 0.04 ± 0.04
Cu 2+ (mM) % Decolorization
0 79.7 ± 2.2
0.1 84.3 ± 3.6
1.0 51.2 ± 1.3
2.0 49.6 ± 1.1
pH % Decolorization
5.5 99.2 ± 0.6
6 81.3 ± 1.2
6.5 68.7 ± 2.4
7 11.4 ± 1.7
Several species and strains have been assessed for biodegradation of different pollutants such as crude oil , pentachlorophenol , DDT , trinitrotoluene  and some textile dyes [41, 42]. Here we report laccase activity in C. plicatilis, a relatively unexplored Coprinus species, and its participation in the decolorization of the textile dye reactive blue 19. Reactive blue 19 (RB 19) is a vinyl sulfone azo dye. Laccase activity in C. plicatilis was firstly described. Copper supplementation can stimulate laccase synthesis since the enzyme uses copper as cofactor, but the ion can also inhibit the growth of the organism . Previous attempts to degrade it have focused on photo-catalytic and chemo-oxidative processes [44–46]. Although these processes may degrade the dye partially or even totally, they have several drawbacks such as the generation of by-products, including chemical sludge, and high investment and operating costs .
It used to be generally accepted that carbon and nitrogen limitation favored the production of lignolytic enzymes in white rot fungi . However, more recent results are somewhat contradictory. For example, in L. edodes, Buswell et al.  obtained 5-fold higher laccase levels under high nitrogen conditions than in low-nitrogen cultures, while Hatvani and Mécs , working on the biodegradation of dyes by Lentinus sp. grown in solid media, found that faster decolorization occurred at very low NH4Cl, peptone and malt extract concentrations. On the other hand, the lignolytic activity of L. edodes grown in liquid culture was stimulated by high N concentrations . In the present work, the decolorization was affected by the type and concentration of the nitrogen source, but different trends occurred for different sources: higher concentrations of ammonium salts resulted in higher decolorization, while for sodium nitrate and urea higher production levels were obtained at the lower concentrations. Moreover, the final result varied drastically with the type of carbohydrate present in the culture medium. For example, the high decolorization obtained in cultures containing 5 g/L urea was almost lost when glucose was replaced with fructose as the main carbon source. A similar effect was observed for ammonium oxalate.
C. plicatilis cultures were able to decolorize and biodegrade the textile dye reactive blue 19. The decolorization was highly influenced by medium composition and culture conditions, being higher in media containing intermediate concentrations of ammonium oxalate and glucose. Decolorization of dye was associated with laccase displaying good tolerance to a wide range of pH values and temperatures, suggesting a potential role for this organism and enzyme in the remediation of real dye containing effluents. In conclusion, laccase activity in C. plicatilis was firstly described in this study.
The author also would like to thank Shimadzu Co. for their advice.
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