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Isolation and selection of fungi with potential for bioremediation from aquatic environments with a history of heavy metals contamination

Grant number: 13/05972-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2013 - November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Benedito Corrêa
Grantee:Benedito Corrêa
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In Brazil, the rivers have often been contaminated by anthropogenic activities. An example is the river Tietê that have presented serious problems of pollution. Heavy metals are listed among the major pollutants originating from these activities caused by man. Because they are very reactive and bioaccumulative elements in living organisms, heavy metals have received special attention, because some are very toxic even in very low amounts, between them have the lead, chromium, mercury and cadmium, among others. The use of fungi in removing or reducing these pollutants is an alternative ecologically sound, since the impact caused by these types of remediation are smaller. Fungi found in the aquatic environment can contain genes conferring the ability to accumulate different heavy metals. The present work aims to isolate and select the aquatic fungi capable of accumulating heavy metals (Pb, Cr, Cd and Hg) in their cell surface in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The samples will be collected from aquatic environments. The methods used include the identification macroscopic and microscopic molecular, and selection of yeast with the ability to grow in contamindas environment by heavy metals, and use of molecular biology tools in order to perform tansformação fungal potential to improve the removal of heavy metals from the aquatic fungi. The results will be presented at scientific meetings and publications to contribute to measures to control this problem. (AU)

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