Fungal diversity in the contaminated soil of Wazirpur industrial area, Delhi, India

Preeti Saxena1, Sashi Lal2, Neeta Mathur2 & Asim Kumar Bhattacharyya3

Author address: 

1Norwegian Institute of Air Research, P.B.100, No.2007, Kjeller, Norway; 2Dept. of Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110012, India; 3School of Environmental Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067, I


Industrialization, urbanization and increased vehicular traffic have resulted in increased contamination of our environment by heavy metals. Wazirpur industrial area is a first major industrial estate located on north-west part of Delhi. There are more than 1000 small scale industries and more than 80% are metal finishing industries. These industries are released a large volume of solid and liquid waste which are directly dumped in the roadside and affecting the local environment. The results revealed that this wastes was found to be very acidic (pH, 2.03.0) and contained toxic heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn) apart from other microbial nutrients. Due to long persistance of this waste in the environment without any treatment many of fungal isolates from the sorrounding environment are settled down on the upper surface of waste and few of them are capable of growing in the toxic conditions and long nature has in turn resulted in development of metal resistant fungal strains. These strains are minimizing the heavy metals toxicity either by metal complexation or precipitation and/or other mechanisms. However exploitation of fungal diversity was done in contaminated soil of Wazirpur industrial area through out the year 20002001. More than twenty strains were isolated and maximum were belongs to Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., Fusarium sp., Mucur sp., Absidia sp., Alternaria sp., Cladosporium sp., Curvularia sp., Humicola sp., Memnoniella sp., Myrothecium sp., Neocosmospora sp., Paecilomyces sp., Papulaspora sp., etc. Significant seasonal variation were found in fungal diversity. After the detailed screening of these fungal isolates four fungal isolates were found to be resistant for chromium (VI) and nickel (II) salts . These fungal isolates showed higher level (10010000 ppm ) of resistance for these salts and quantity of metal uptake varies with different species. The toxicity is also influenced by different factors like pH and composition of growth medium. The objectives of present investigation are (1) Isolation and Identification of fungal strains from contaminated soil (2) Study of seasonal variation in fungal diversity (3) Screening of metal salts resistant fungi from industrial sludge.

abstract No: 

EM 55

Full conference title: 

156th Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology
    • SGM 156th (2005)