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Untreated pharmaceutical pollution and their possibly toxic metabolites, resulting from overloaded wastewater treatment processes, end up in aquatic environments and are hazardous to the ecosystem homeostasis. Biological wastewater remediation could supplement traditional methods and overcome the release of these biologically active compounds in the environment. Mycoremediation is especially promising due to the unspecific nature of fungi to decompose compounds through exoenzymes and the uptake of compounds as nutrients. In the present study, we improved on the previous advances made using the fungus Mucor hiemalis to remediate one of the most commonly occurring pharmaceuticals, acetaminophen (APAP), at higher concentrations. The limitation of nitrogen, adjustment of pH, and comparison to, as well as co-cultivation with the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, were tested. Nitrogen limitation did not significantly improve the APAP remediation efficiency of M. hiemalis. Maintaining the pH of the media improved the remediation restraint of 24 h previously observed. The APAP remediation efficiency of P. chrysosporium was far superior to that of M. hiemalis, and co-cultivation of the two resulted in a decreased remediation efficiency compared to P. chrysosporium in single. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


M Esterhuizen, S Behnam Sani, L Wang, Y J Kim, S Pflugmacher. Mycoremediation of acetaminophen: Culture parameter optimization to improve efficacy. Chemosphere. 2021 Jan;263:128117

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PMID: 33297110

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