Intro to Mycoremediation | Species and Spawn | Journal References and Articles

Intro to Mycoremediation

Mushroom Mountain promotes the study of mycology, sustainability, and organic agriculture.

We are surrounded by agricultural and industrial waste that can be converted into fuel, medicines, and edible protein. The cycle of life is a constant balance of strength and weakness. Fungi are opportunistic and can be trained to decompose specific pathogens. Recycling tree waste video.

Mushroom Mountain's spent growing media is at the perfect stage to introduce into contaminated environments. The enzymes are at their apex of production and bioremediation potential. Fungal systems can be hybridized with traditional vegetative or bacterial remediation systems to produce an ideal model for different applications. Vegetation that has hyper accumulated metals or toxins can also be removed from a contaminated system, dried, and remediated with fungi. Complex hydrocarbons and chains of toxic molecules are degraded into forms that are easily digestible for the environment, thereby improving air and water quality for future generations to enjoy. Species sequencing can also be applied to degrade a complex of contaminated media by phasing the process using fungi with unique enzymatic properties.

“Fungi are Factories – Their Products our Solutions”

How it Works - Fungi are opportunistic and respond quickly to environmental disasters. Complex hydrocarbons and chains of toxic molecules are degraded into forms that are easily digestible for the environment, thereby improving air and water quality for future generations to enjoy. Species sequencing can also be applied to degrade a complex of contaminated media by phasing the process using fungi with unique enzymatic properties.


Phase I - Biomass Expansion and Primary Metabolites – The first step is to establish a biomass, or battery of colonized substrate that fungi can use as a food source to fuel the process. As mushroom mycelium colonizes, or the vegetative state of fungi takes over territory to claim as a food source, they are experiencing a state of growth called nutrient capture. During nutrient capture, fungi are quite happy establishing a base or nutrient platform that can help support fruiting, like they are making their battery larger, by using chemical keys, or enzymes, produced in a fluid of primary metabolites to access sugars and carbon locked up in plant debris. Interestingly, fungi capture and conserve, rather than mine their nutrient capture, and expand to the outer limits of territory before signaling back to the mass of mycelium to thicken and digest the conquered material. Along the way, the primary metabolites also
contain selective antibiotics, like a chemical welcome mat, that the mycelium uses to pick up bacteria, but limits their growth, for using in the detoxification of its own harmful byproducts, much like a septic tank, but will also cultivate bacteria species that will eventually be useful in the end product biodegradation of chemical pollutants, a process called species sequencing. In common terms, fungi are the first responders, assessing and orchestrating the best strategy to solve the problem from the starting point, gathering a team of professional microbes it can find and cultivate along the way, which can be analogous to a relay race where the responsibility shifts from fungus to the bacteria team to reach the finish line. This is a complex process that is also often referred to “natural attenuation” by the EPA with an unidentified timeline, however
a person skilled in mycoremediation can heighten and improve these conditions to perform a more accurate and efficient process.


Phase II - Mycelium Trains Itself and Manufactures Secondary Metabolites - This is the stage at which the fungi run out of habitat and switch gears, to produce powerful secondary enzymes that are capable of breaking down complex, toxic molecules and targeting pathogenic organisms, when they are desperate and starving to the point where the mycelium demonstrates the ability to shift genetic expression to produce a target specific enzyme or antibiotic solution to break down.

APPLICATIONS

Soil Remediation – Mycoremediation of soil can be accomplished using several strategies depending on site conditions and typically involves chemical pollutants, not biological. The team will need to assess the treatments as an application of fungal biomass “cap” to sweat enzymes into the soil, or a removal process where the soil is physically removed, placed into leakproof containers or onto liners, and mixed with myceliated biomass to allow time for the fungi to perform the initial steps of enzymatic biodegradation or biotransformation needed until bacteria are employed.

Mycofiltration of Water or Aqueous Waste – Using fungal biomass to filter water is most efficient for biological contamination, where the network of fungal cells produce a living micron filter to both physically trap and biologically inactive or destroy pathogens. Chemical degradation in water can be accomplished using enzyme harvesting systems and in-line filters of biomass to determine the amount of contact time required to achieve a level of safety needed to release the output into the environment. Living swales and rain gardens lined with mycelium offer this type of biological and chemical activity, and should be designed based on benchtop or trials to determine the amount of biomass needed and which species of fungi are most effective for the application.

Also following nutrient capture, or complete colonization, a biomass of mycelium can create a network, or living "filter", on a wide range of substrates. Miles of mycelia per cubic inch of media, the cellular walls of fungi sweat a mixture of enzymatic molecules that are programmed to adapt.

Hybridized and Multidimensional Systems – Phytoremediation / Bacterial Remediation / Mycorrhizae / Saprophytic Fungi

Fungal systems can be hybridized with traditional vegetative or bacterial remediation systems to produce an ideal model for different applications. Vegetation that has hyper accumulated metals or toxins can also be removed from a contaminated system, dried, and remediated with fungi. The addition of specific mycorrhizal fungi onto the plant roots further enhances the surface area and bioactivity of the rhizosphere by orchestrating root and fungal exudates, along with bacterial cooperation to regulate complex biochemical processes involved in bioremediation.

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/news/phyto.htm

Fungi produce powerful enzymes that are capable of breaking down complex, toxic molecules and pathogenic organisms.

Mushroom spawn can create a network, or living "filter", on a wide range of substrates. Miles of mycelia per cubic inch of media, the cellular walls of fungi sweat a mixture of enzymatic molecules that are programmed to adapt. Fungi are opportunistic and respond quickly to environmental disasters.

Species and Spawn

Mushroom Mountain maintains unique strains and spawn for use in Mycoremediation projects. Custom spawn is available and can be ordered 2-3 weeks ahead of shipment. All spawn is sold in the form of pure-culture, supplemented sawdust spawn sealed with a breathable micron filter patch to achieve a rapid colonization of the targeted substrate. For Spawn Availability Click Here.

White Oyster
Pleurotus ostreatus (TC-14)

Found on a poplar stump in Clemson, SC in January, this cold tolerant strain (Fruiting bodies found frozen and viable) has exhibited strong activity against herbicide degradation, namely Atrazine, with the suspected ability to degrade many more. Can be used in solid state or liquid molecular disassembly experiments and trials.

Can be used in:
CHEMICAL / BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation



Turkey Tail
Trametes versicolor (TVERS-2)

The common Turkey Tail fungi have recently been found to degrade a wide spectrum of different chemical compounds, namely chlorinated, polychlorinated, aromatic hydrocarbons, and many more. Turkey Tails have also exhibited strong anti-bacterial activity against coliforms and presumably many other environmental pathogens will follow suit. This hardwood isolate (Oak) should be used to colonize hardwood chips to achieve the biomass necessary for mycoremediation trials in both solid-state and liquid culture.

Can be used in:
CHEMICAL / BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation

Brick Top
Hypholoma sublateritium – (HSUB1)

A common inhabitant of fallen hardwood logs and chips, this group, as a genus, has shown activity against organophosphates and other agricultural or industrial compounds. Although an edible, this species resembles a close cousin H. fasciculare, which is poisonous if consumed. This strain typically fruits in the winter, giving it the metabolic advantage of cold season remediation of contaminated soils and water.

Can be used in:
CHEMICAL Mycoremediation



Trainwrecker
Neolentinus lepideus (NLEP-1)

Given the name “Trainwrecker” for the ability of this native fungus to colonize and degrade railroad ties, withstanding the antifungal nature of creosote. Our strain was isolated from fresh treated lumber with the barcode still attached! Perfect for studies involving the degradation or tolerance to copper fungicides, copper arsenate, and other antimicrobial mechanisms. This strain can also possibly be used to compost chipped treated lumber, rendering it into a usable garden product, minimizing the toxic effects and keeping it out of the landfills and watershed.

Can be used in:
CHEMICAL Mycoremediation


Hairy Panus
Lentinus strigosus (LSTR-1)

This beautiful, fuzzy little Lentinus colonizes hardwood sawdust and chips. Also a sun-tolerant species for full sun applications where shade is a limiting factor. Recent studies from Brazil have shown very high activity and inhibition of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chaga’s Disease, killing approximately 20,000 of the infected individuals in tropical climates every year, mostly in Central and South America. A possible candidate for other water-borne inactivation of other pathogens epidemic to world health such as Cholerae (Vibrio cholerae). A unique and promising species!

Can be used in:
BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation


Gloeophyllum sepiarium – (GSEP-1)

A brown-rot polypore, this small bracket fungus was isolated from freshly cut conifer stumps in South Carolina. Also found growing on treated pine lumber, this fungal isolate can be used in similar fashion to the Trainwrecker, for studies involving the degradation or tolerance to copper fungicides, copper arsenate, and other antimicrobial mechanisms. This strain can also possibly be used to compost chipped treated lumber, rendering it into a usable garden product, minimizing the toxic effects and keeping it out of the landfills and watershed.

Can be used in:
CHEMICALMycoremediation


Jack O’Lantern
Omphalotus illudens – (OILL-1)


Bioluminescent mushrooms possess the ability to produce Luciferase, a enzyme responsible for the glowing, which is an ATP / Phosporylation pathway. This pathway can be useful for studying the effects of chemical pollutants, organophosphate runoff from herbicides and fertilizers, and other naturally or man-made compounds. Applications for chemical filtration I soild-state and liquid mycofiltration units are possible. ALSO this strain exhibits strong antimicrobial properties against numerous bacteria and molds in vitro, which gives it the flexibility of hybridizing a biological and chemical filter in one!

Can be used in:
CHEMICAL / BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation

King Stropharia
Stropharia rugoso-annulata – (SRA1)

Probably the most commonly used mushroom for establishing mycofiltration barriers capturing runoff contaminated with coliforms, E.coli, and other biological contaminants threatening sensitive watersheds and improving water quality. Other applications are for grey water filtration systems and anywhere where biological pathogens are present and needed to be reduced. Grows on hardwood chips, making it a perfect candidate for creating a porous, myceliated biomass with a high flow rate to increase contact time.

Can be used in:
BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation

Macrocybe titans – (MTIT1)

A rare tropical mushroom of CONSIDERABLE size, this fungus defeats all attempts by bacterial and insect invasion of it’s tissue, implying a strong antibacterial and insecticidal properties. A unique strain that is cold sensitive and should only be used in warmer climates, this isolate holds much promise for investigating unique compounds associated with livestock and human pathogens, along with agricultural pests. Also associated with the colony collapse of tropical ants.

Can be used in:
BIOLOGICAL Mycoremediation


Journal References and Articles


MYCOREMEDIATION REFERENCES
The use of fungi can be referenced in the book by Harbajhan Singh – MYCOREMEDIATION, available online

ONLINE LINKS to JOURNALS and REFERENCES