Assessment of hexavalent chromium (VI) biosorption competence of indigenous Aspergillus tubingensis AF3 isolated from bauxite mine tailing


Anusha P., Narayanan M., Natarajan D., Kandasamy S., Chinnathambi A., Alharbi S.A., Brindhadevi K.

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The intention of this research was to find the most eminent metal tolerant and absorbing autochthonous fungal species from the waste dump of a bauxite mine. Out of the 4 (BI-1, BI-II, BI-III, and BI-IV) predominant isolates, BI-II had an excellent metal tolerance potential against most of the metals in the subsequent order: Cr(VI) (1500), Cu(II) (600), Pb(II) (500), and Zn(II) (500-1500 μg mL-1). BI-II had shown tolerance to Cr(VI) up to 1500 mg L-1. The excellent metal tolerant isolate was characterized and identified as Aspergillus tubingensis AF3 through 18S rRNA sequencing method and submitted to GenBank and received an accession number (MN901243). A. tubingensis AF3 had the efficiency to absorb Cr(VI) and Cu(II) at <70 & 46.3% respectively under the standard growth conditions. Under the optimized conditions (25 °C, pH 7.0, 0.5% of dextrose, and 12 days of incubation), A. tubingensis AF3 absorbed 74.48% of Cr(VI) in 12 days (reduction occurred as 822.3, 719.13, 296.66, and 255.2 mg L-1 of Cr(VI) on the 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th day, respectively). The adsorbed metal was sequestered in the mycelia of the fungus in a precipitated form; it was confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) analyses. The possible biosorption mechanisms were analyzed by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, the results showed the presence of N-H primary amines (1649.98 cm-1) and Alkanes (914.30 cm-1) in the cell wall of the fungus, while being treated with Cr(VI) they supported and enhanced the Cr(VI) absorption. The entire results concluded that the biomass of A. tubingensis AF3 had the potential to absorb a high concentration of Cr(VI).