Chromium (VI) bioremediation potential of filamentous fungi isolated from Peruvian tannery industry effluents

Braz J Microbiol. 2020 Mar;51(1):271-278. doi: 10.1007/s42770-019-00209-9. Epub 2019 Dec 21.


The tannery is an important trade in various Peruvian regions; however, tannery effluents are a serious local environmental threat due to its highly toxics components and lack of efficient treatment. The untreated effluents produced by tannery factories in Arequipa Rio Seco Industrial Park (PIRS) have formed a lake in the region nearby. In this work, we study the capability of filamentous fungi species found in this effluents lake with potential for chromium (VI) bioremediation. Fourteen species of filamentous fungi were isolated; only two species were identified Penicillium citrinum and Trichoderma viride, and third strain identified as Penicillium sp. The filamentous fungi showed that are fully tolerant to chromium (VI) concentrations up to 100 mg/L. These fungal strains showed significant growth in chromium (VI) concentrations up to 250 mg/L. Tolerant index (TI) analysis revealed that P. citrinum and T. viride began adaptation to chromium (IV) concentrations of 250 and 500 mg/L, after 6 and 12 days, respectively. When exposed to higher Cr (VI) concentrations (1000 mg/L), only T. viride was able to show growth (enhance phase). Interestingly, one of the significant responses from these fungal strains to increasing chromium (VI) concentrations was an increment in secreted laccase enzymes. Our results show tolerance and adaptation to elevated concentrations of chromium (VI) of these fungal strains suggesting their potential as effective agents for bioremediation of tannery effluents.

Keywords: Chromium bioremediation; Laccases; Penicillium citrinum; Tannery effluents; Trichoderma viride.

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Chromium / metabolism*
  • Fungi* / isolation & purification
  • Fungi* / metabolism
  • Industrial Waste
  • Laccase / metabolism
  • Penicillium / isolation & purification
  • Penicillium / metabolism
  • Peru
  • Trichoderma / isolation & purification
  • Trichoderma / metabolism
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • Wastewater / microbiology*


  • Industrial Waste
  • Waste Water
  • Chromium
  • Laccase