REDUCTION OF PERCHLORATE BY FUNGAL SPECIES ISOLATED FROM WATER SAMPLES COLLECTED FROM SOUTHERN KERALAANN M. GEORGE, K. B. RADHAKRISHNAN AND A. JAYAKUMARAN NAIR
Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a soluble anion that is widely used in explosive industries, rocket fuel manufacturing plants, demilitarization of weaponry and so on. It has been released into the environment for over half a century primarily due to the use of ammonium perchlorate as the propellant in missiles and rockets. The presence of perchlorate can be found in surface and ground water samples. The consumption of perchlorate contaminated water will cause serious health implications in humans by impairing the function of the thyroid gland. Improper thyroid function may affect metabolic functions, growth, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Perchlorate can also affect the growth and reproductive cycles of aquatic animals also. We found Perchlorate concentration from the water samples collected from areas near rocket fuel manufacturing and fireworks above the reference dasage. In the present study, we are dealing with the capability of perchlorate degradation by fungal species Rhizopus stolonifera isolated from the contaminated water. The study of the influence of various environmental parameters like concentration of acetate, nitrate, pH, and salinity in the reduction of perchlorate by the fungus. This naturally occurring fungus shows the ability for reducing the perchlorate level within 1 week.