Bioremediation of DDT in soil by genetically improved strains of soil fungus Fusarium solani

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Bioremediation of DDT in soil by genetically improved recombinants of the soil fungus Fusarium solani was studied. The parent strains were isolated from soil enriched with DDD or DDE (immediate anaerobic and aerobic degradation products of DDT), as further degradation of these products are slow processes compared to the parent compound. These naturally occurring strains isolated from soil, however, are poor degraders of DDT and differed in their capability to degrade its metabolites such as DDD, DDE, DDOH and DBP and other organochlorine pesticides viz. kelthane and lindane. Synergistic effect was shown by some of these strains, when grown together in the medium containing DDD and kelthane under mixed culture condition. No synergism in DDE degradation was observed with the strains isolated from enriched soil. DDD-induced proteins extracted from individual culture filtrate (exo-enzyme) when subjected to SDS-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) showed complementary polypeptide bands in these strains i.e., each strain produced distinct DDD degrading polypeptide bands and the recombinant or hybrid strains produced all of the bands of the two parents and degraded DDD better than the parental strains. Recombinant hybrid strains with improved dehalogenase activity were raised by parasexual hybridisation of two such complementary isolates viz. isolate 1(P-1) and 4(P-2) showing highest complementation and are compatible for hyphal fusion inducing heterokaryosis. These strains are genetically characterised as Kel+BenRDBPLinand KelBenrDBP+Lin+respectively. Recombinants with mixed genotype, i.e., Kel+BenRDBP+Lin+showing superior degradation quality for DDT were selected for bioremediation study. Recombination was confirmed by polypeptide band analysis of DDD induced exo-proteins from culture filtrate using SDS-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE) and RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) of genomic DNA using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technique. SDS-PAGE showed combination of DDD induced polypeptide bands characteristic of both the parents in the recombinants or the hybrids. PCR study showed the parent specific bands in the recombinant strains confirming gene transformation.

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