First Advisor

Daniel Ballhorn

Date of Award

Spring 6-18-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors






Pleurotus -- Research, Bioremediation, Pleurotus -- Utilization




Elemental and molecular contaminants of anthropogenic origin represent an increasing threat to virtually all terrestrial and aquatic environments as well as their surrounding atmosphere. The decontamination and restoration of these environments pose a significant and expensive challenge. Although chemical treatment or physical removal of contaminated substrates often is the most direct response to eliminate contaminants, due to the complexity and sensitivity of many natural systems, technologies involving biological remediation can provide viable alternatives. While plant, bacterial, and fungal organisms have the abilities to accumulate or to metabolize toxic compounds, fungal organisms are uniquely suited to do so. Their fast growth and reproduction together with rapid genetic recombination allows fungi to evolve adaptations to specific conditions quickly, as do bacteria, as well as forming large, pervasive, mycelial networks that support nutrient utilization, in some aspects functionally similar to the roots of plants. This review is intended to provide an overview of the current stage of knowledge on the utilization and potential for bioremediation of a particularly promising genus of fungi: Pleurotus, a genus of about 200 species which occur in nearly all terrestrial environments in the northern hemisphere. From a sampling of 32 peer reviewed studies of pure research, information has been compiled regarding the adsorption and biotransformation of recalcitrant hydrocarbon compounds and the adsorption and hyper accumulation of heavy metal ions. Based on the information gathered in this review, Pleurotus spp. have the potential to perform mycoremediation in response to a variety of contamination scenarios both in soils and wastewaters.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Biology Commons