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Characterization and mechanism of lead and zinc biosorption by growing Verticillium insectorum J3

By Chong-ling Feng, Jin Li, Xue Li, Ke-lin Li, Kun Luo, Xing-sheng Liao, Tao Liu

Posted 30 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/404640 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203859)

Verticillium insectorum J3 was isolated from a local lead-zinc deposit tailing, and its biosorption characteristics and reaction to the toxicities of different Pb(II) and Zn(II) concentrations were investigated. SEM, FTIR, a pH test and a desorption experiment were carried out to identify a possible mechanism. The biosorption of J3 presented an inhibition trend at low concentrations (25-75 mg L-1) and promotion at high concentrations (100-300 mg L-1). J3 absorbed Pb(II) prior to Zn(II) and produced alkaline substances, while mycelial and pellet morphology modifications were important for the removal of Pb(II) and Zn(II) under different stressful conditions (SEM results). Both intracellular accumulation and extracellular absorption may contribute to the removal of Pb(II) at lower concentrations (25-50 mg L-1), although mainly extracellular biosorption occurred at higher concentrations (75-300 mg L-1). However, Zn(II) bioaccumulation occurred at all concentrations assayed. Verticillium insectorum J3 may have evolved active defenses to alleviate the toxicity of heavy metals and proved to be a highly efficient biosorbent, especially for Pb(II) at high concentrations. This study is a useful reference for the development of biotreatment technologies to mitigate heavy metal waste.

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