Effect of pollutants on the ergosterol content as indicator of fungal biomass.


Ergosterol content was determined in 20 white-rot fungi isolates and the values ranged from 2380 to 13060 microg g(-1) fungal biomass. Significant changes of ergosterol content according the physiological stage for Bjerkandera adusta 4312 and Coriolopsis gallica 8260 were found, showing the highest values during the stationary phase. However, in the case of Phanerochaete chrysosporium 3642, no changes were detected during growth. The effect of pollutants, such as heavy metals and fungicides, on the ergosterol content of C. gallica was determined. Heavy metals (Cu 80 ppm, Zn 50 ppm or Cd 10 ppm) and fungicides (thiram 3 ppm or pentachlorophenol 1.5 ppm) at concentrations that reduce the metabolic activity between 18% and 53% (pollutant-stressed cultures) did not affect the ergosterol content. Only the fungicide zineb (25 ppm) reduced significantly the ergosterol content in biomass basis. In soil experiments with Cu (80 ppm) or thiram (10 ppm) after 15 and 30 days of incubation, the ergosterol content in soil was linearly correlated to the fungal biomass C in both polluted and control soil cultures. The ergosterol content was independent of the presence or the absence of pollutants. Thus, these results indicate that ergosterol can be a useful indicator for fungal biomass in polluted soils, and can be applied for monitoring bioremediation processes.


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@article{BarajasAceves2002EffectOP, title={Effect of pollutants on the ergosterol content as indicator of fungal biomass.}, author={Martha Barajas-Aceves and Mainul Hassan and Raunel Tinoco and Rafael V{\'a}zquez-Duhalt}, journal={Journal of microbiological methods}, year={2002}, volume={50 3}, pages={227-36} }