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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Use of sawdust for production of ligninolytic enzymes by white-rot fungi and pharmaceutical removal

Hultberg, M.; Golovko, O.


Use of white-rot fungi for enzyme-based bioremediation of wastewater is of high interest. These fungi produce considerable amounts of extracellular ligninolytic enzymes during solid-state fermentation on lignocellulosic materials such as straw and sawdust. We used pure sawdust colonized by Pleurotus ostreatus, Trametes versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum for extraction of ligninolytic enzymes in aqueous suspension. Crude enzyme suspensions of the three fungi, with laccase activity range 12-43 U/L and manganese peroxidase activity range 5-55 U/L, were evaluated for degradation of 11 selected pharmaceuticals spiked at environmentally relevant concentrations. Sulfamethoxazole was removed significantly in all treatments. The crude enzyme suspension from P. ostreatus achieved degradation of wider range of pharmaceuticals when the enzyme activity was increased. Brief homogenization of the colonized sawdust was also observed to be favorable, resulting in significant reductions after a short exposure of 5 min. The highest reduction was observed for sulfamethoxazole which was reduced by 84% compared to an autoclaved control without enzyme activity and for trimethoprim which was reduced by 60%. The compounds metoprolol, lidocaine, and venlafaxine were reduced by approximately 30% compared to the control. Overall, this study confirmed the potential of low-cost lignocellulosic material as a substrate for production of enzymes from white-rot fungi. However, monitoring over time in bioreactors revealed a rapid decrease in enzymatic ligninolytic activity.


Ganoderma lucidum; Laccase; Mycoremediation; Pleurotus ostreatus; Trametes versicolor

Published in

Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
2024, Volume: 47, number: 4, pages: 475–482 Publisher: SPRINGER