Selected isolates of fungi were grown on wheat straw and corncob in the presence of different moistening agents such as water, molasses, potato dextrose broth and distillery effluent. All the fungal isolates responded differently with respect to growth and ligninolytic enzyme production.
Fungal growth on different substrates was checked by calculating ergosterol content, which varied widely within a single species when grown on different substrates. The maximum laccase production was obtained for Aspergillus flavus TERI DB9 grown on wheat straw with molasses. For manganese peroxidase, highest production was in Aspergillus nigerTERI DB20 grown on corncob with effluent. Among the two isolates positive for lignin peroxidase, the highest production was in Fusarium verticillioides ITCC 6140. This immobilized fungal biomass was then used for decolorization of effluent from a cane molasses based distillery.
Maximum decolorization (86.33%) was achieved in Pleurotus ostreatus(Florida) Eger EM 1303 immobilized on corncob with molasses in a period of 28 days.