PVC DEGRADING FUNGI IN DUMPING YARD SOILRAJANI RAJAN AND PUNNEN KURIAN
Plastics are versatile and have wide applications in every facets of human life. Among thermoplastics PVC is the most commonly used in electronics, automobile, upholstery, plumbing and flooring. Burgeoning use of plastics has now become one of the serious environmental issues as they are non-degradable. However recent attempts showed that few microorganisms like fungi have limited biodegradation potential with specific plastics in natural conditions. The diversity and load of PVC degrading fungi associated with the dumping yard soil Vadavathoor, Kottayam was evaluated using the clear-zone method. The fungal load ranges from 5.0 x102/g dry soil to 9.1 x 102/g dry soil. The predominant genera include Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chrysosporium, Cunninghamella, Mucor, Alternaria and Rhizopus. Among the isolates Aspergillus, Penicillium and Chrysosporium could readily grow on PVC powder. The ability of the fungi to produce various depolymerase enzymes such as amylase, cellulose, gelatinase, protease, ligninase and lipase were also determined. The result suggests that the biodegradation potential of the selected fungi with PVC is promising.
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