Isolation and molecular characterization of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic degrading fungal isolates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Authors:
  • Muhammad Ishtiaq Ali
  • Safia Ahmed
  • Geoff Robson
  • Imran Javed
  • Naeem Ali
  • And 2 others
  • External authors:
  • Naima Atiq
  • Abdul Hameed


The recalcitrant nature of polyvinyl chloride creates serious environmental concerns during manufacturing and waste disposal. The present study was aimed to isolate and screen different soil fungi having potential to biodegrade PVC films. After 10 months of soil burial experiment, it was observed that a number of fungal strains were flourishing on PVC films. On morphological as well as on 18rRNA gene sequence and phylogenetic basis they were identified as Phanerochaete chrysosporium PV1, Lentinus tigrinus PV2, Aspergillus niger PV3, and Aspergillus sydowii PV4. The biodegradation ability of these fungal isolates was further checked in shake flask experiments by taking thin films of PVC (C source) in mineral salt medium. A significant change in color and surface deterioration of PVC films was confirmed through visual observation and Scanning electron microscopy. During shake flask experiments, P. chrysosporium PV1 produced maximum biomass of about 2.57mgml-1 followed by A. niger PV3. P. chrysosporium PV1 showed significant reduction (178,292Da-1) in Molecular weight of the PVC film than control (200,000Da-1) by gel permeation chromatography. Furthermore more Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance also revealed structural changes in the PVC. It was concluded that isolated fungal strains have significant potential for biodegradation of PVC plastics. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Basic Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014