Biodegradation of diesel oil by a novel microbial consortium: comparison between co-inoculation with biosurfactant-producing strain and exogenously added biosurfactants.
The effects of two biosurfactants, tea saponin (TS) and rhamnolipid (RL), on the production of laccase and the degradation of phenol by P. simplicissimum were investigated in solid-state fermentation consisting of rice straw, rice bran, and sawdust. Firstly, the effects of phenol on the fermentation process were studied in the absence of surfactants. Then, a phenol concentration of 3 mg/g in the fermentation was selected for detailed research with the addition of biosurfactants. The results showed that TS and RL at different concentrations had stimulative effects on the enzyme activity of laccase. The highest laccase activities during the fermentation were enhanced by 163.7%, 68.2%, and 23.3% by TS at concentrations of 0.02%, 0.06%, and 0.10%, respectively. As a result of the enhanced laccase activity, the efficiency of phenol degradation was also improved by both biosurfactants. RL caused a significant increase of fungal biomass in the early stage of the fermentation, while TS had an inhibitory effect in the whole process. These results indicated that RL could mitigate the negative effects of phenol on fungal growth and consequently improve laccase production and phenol degradation. TS was potentially applicable to phenol-polluted solid-state fermentation.