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P. Kalyani1, K. Sunanda Kumari1, Ch. C. Sailaja Lakshmi2 and K.P.J. Hemalatha3*


Department of Microbiology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.


Advanced Analytical Laboratory, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.


Department of Biochemistry, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.


Heavy metal pollution is nowadays one of the most important

environmental concerns. Anthropogenic activities like metalliferous

mining and smelting, agriculture, waste disposal or industry discharge

a variety of metals such as Ag, As, Au, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Pd,

Pt, Rd, Sn, Th, U and Zn, which can produce harmful effects on human

health when they are taken up in amounts that cannot be processed by

the organism. In this present study, Aspergillus fumigatus were

identified and inoculated with chromium to analyse the capability of

those microorganism in bioremediation. The results revealed that

chromium level decreased in culture media. It was also observed that Aspergillus fumigatus

removes the chromium at high rate.

KEYWORDS: Heavy metals, Bioremediation, Aspergillus fumigatus.


Pollution is an undesirable change in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of

environment. At the beginning of this century the order of civilization of a nation was being

measured by the per capita consumption of soap in the nation. It is tragic that at the close of

20th century, the order of civilization is measured by the amount of pollutants released into

the environment. Metals when present in our body are capable of causing serious health

problems, by interfering with our normal functions. Some of these metals are useful to the

body in low concentration like arsenic, copper, iron, nickel, etc. but are toxic at high

concentration (Suranjana et al., 2009).[1] According to ISI: Bureau of Indian standard (BIS)

the industrial effluent permissible level of Cr(VI) and Ni(II) in to inland water is 0.1 and

Volume 7, Issue 1, 823-828. Research Article ISSN 2277– 7105

*Corresponding Author

K.P.J. Hemalatha

Department of Biochemistry,

Andhra University,

Visakhapatnam. Article Received on 06 November 2017,

Revised on 27 Nov. 2017, Accepted on 18 Dec. 2017

DOI: 10.20959/wjpr20181-10503


3.0mg L-1, respectively.[2,3] Bioremediation is the process of using bacteria and other

biological enhancements under controlled conditions to control pollution (EI Fantroussi and

Agathos, 2005).[4] Physical and chemical methods have been proposed for the removal of

these pollutants. Nevertheless, they have some disadvantages, among them cost-effectiveness

limitations, generation of hazardous by-products or inefficiency when concentration of

polluted materials is below 100 mg l-1 (Gavrilescu, 2004; Wang and Chen, 2009).[5]

Biological methods solve these drawbacks since they are easy to operate, do not produce

secondary pollution and show higher efficiency at low metal concentrations (Chen et al.,

2005; De et al., 2008).[6] Microorganisms and plants are usually used for the removal of

heavy metals. Mechanisms by which microorganisms act on heavy metals include biosorption

(metal sorption to cell surface by physiochemical mechanisms), bioleaching (heavy metal

mobilization through the excretion of organic acids or methylation reactions),

biomineralization (heavy metal immobilization through the formation of insoluble sulfides or

polymeric complexes) intracellular accumulation and enzyme-catalyzed transformation

(redox reactions) (Lloyd, 2002).[7] Sabry et al., 1997,[8] Wasay et al., 1998,[9] Chande et al.,

2002[10], Park et al., 2004,[11] Ahmad et al., 2006[12] were studied works on bioremediation of

chromium metal . They have noticed that some microorganisms were resistant to chromium.

The majority of the tested strains were multiple metals resistant. The main aim of the work is

to removal of chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus.


Sample collection, Isolation and characterization

The marine soil sample were collected from Bay of Bengal, Kakinada, East godhavari. To

avoid contamination, collected soil samples were stored in pre-sterilized polythene bags and

used for the production of secondary metabolites from fungi. One gram of the soil was then

suspended in 100 ml sterillized water and incubated in an orbital shaking incubator at 28 °C

with periodic shaking at 200 rpm for 30min. Isolation of fungi from marine soil was done

using dilution plate technique in Potato dextrose agar medium. The fungi was identified

based on morphological characteristics.

Culture Maintenance

The Asperigillus fumigatus culture from potato dextrose broth was streaked on a Potato

dextrose agar slant and it was incubated at 27 oC for 72 hours. It was then sub cultured and


Removal of Chromium

Asperigillus fumigatus was inoculated in two flasks with 0.5 gm and 1.0 gm chromium

content separately and incubated the flasks in orbital shaker for 45 days. Day by Day

decreased chromium level measured at 550nm.


Isolation and identification of fungi

The fungal isolate were recovered and morphologically the fungal strains were sub cultured

and maintained for further analysis. The Microscopic and Cultural characteristics of the

isolates were observed & identified as Aspergillus fumigatus.

Fig. 1: A. fumigatus colony morphology on plate. Fig. 2: A. fumigatus colony

morphology on slant.

Morphological characterization of fungi

There are various methods for isolating the fungi, but the simplest one is dilution plate

method and the lifting of conidia from sporulating conidiophores. They were characterized

morphologically by lacto phenol cotton blue staining and scanning electron microscopic



Removal of chromium

Table-19 Bioremediation of Chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus.

S. No Days of measurement Optical density at 550nm

0.5g 1g

1 5th 0.43 0.45

2 10th 0.39 0.42

3 15th 0.35 0.40

4 20th 0.32 0.38

5 25th 0.29 0.32

6 30th 0.25 0.29

7 35th 0.20 0.26

8 40th 0.18 0.22

9 45th 0.12 0.19

Fig. 4: Bioremediation of Chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus.

In fig-4-revealed that the bioremediation of Chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus was

inoculated in two flasks with 0.5 gm and 1.0 gm chromium content separately. The removal

of chromium was deduced from the decreasing optical density values at 550nm for the 45th

day of incubation.


Biosorption is an innovative technology aimed at the removal of toxic metals from polluted

streams by using inactive and dead biomasses. Metals entrapment is due to chemico-physical

interactions with active groups present on the cell wall: carboxylic, phosphate, sulfate, amino,

amide and hydroxyl groups are the most commonly found, according to the bio sorbent

nature.[13] Hexavalent chromium is readily immobilized in soils by adsorption, reduction and


for plant uptake. Biotechnological exploitation of biosorption technology for removal of

heavy metals depends on the efficiency of the regeneration of bio sorbent after metal

desorption. Therefore non-destructive recovery by mild and cheap desorbing agents is

desirable for regeneration of biomass for use in multiple cycles.[14] The efficiency of bio

sorption can be increased by different physical and chemical pretreatments of the microbial

biomass. In this present study, a chromium resistant bacterium was isolated from marine soil

in Potato dextrose agar medium. This was identified Aspergillus fumigatus using Lacto

phenol cotton blue staining and plating on Sabouraud’s Dextrose agar. The removal of

chromium was deduced from the decreasing optical density values at 550 nm for the 45th day

of incubation.


In this present study finally I will concluded that removal of chromium was investigated

using Asperigillus sps., The results revealed that chromium levels decreased in culture media

of Asperigillus niger removes the chromium at higher rate.


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Fig. 3: SEM image of Aspergillus fumigatus.
Fig. 3: SEM image of Aspergillus fumigatus. p.3
Fig. 1: A. fumigatus colony morphology on plate. Fig. 2: A. fumigatus colony morphology on slant
Fig. 1: A. fumigatus colony morphology on plate. Fig. 2: A. fumigatus colony morphology on slant p.3
Table-19 Bioremediation of Chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus.
Table-19 Bioremediation of Chromium by Aspergillus fumigatus. p.4