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ERIC Number: EJ876523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Dye Degradation by Fungi: An Exercise in Applied Science for Biology Students
Lefebvre, Daniel D.; Chenaux, Peter; Edwards, Maureen
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v31 n3 p13-16 Aug 2005
An easily implemented practical exercise in applied science for biology students is presented that uses fungi to degrade an azo-dye. This is an example of bioremediation, the employment of living organisms to detoxify or contain pollutants. Its interdisciplinary nature widens students' perspectives of biology by exposing them to a chemical engineering process. It also demonstrates the use of biological organisms to degrade a relatively complex chemical, Amaranth. This azo-dye, which is vibrant red across a broad pH range, is safe to employ in the student laboratory. Various species of white rot fungi of the genus "Trametes" are able to degrade Amaranth to differing degrees, permitting comparative studies. This laboratory exercise involves observations that occur over the course of 3 days, but may be shortened or lengthened, as desired. Results involving decreases in color intensity may be obtained by making comparisons to color standards or by using a spectrophotometer. In our example, we suggest using species of white rot fungi, including "Trametes versicolor" and "Trametes pubescens". The complexity of the lab is easily modified to challenge students of diverse backgrounds because the degree of difficulty of the exercise is adjustable to suite biology non-majors or majors in introductory through advanced courses.
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A