Cresol Red belongs to the triphenylmethane (TPM) class of dyes which are potentially carcinogenic or mutagenic. However, very few studies on biodegradation of Cresol Red were investigated as compared to other type dyes such as azo and anthraquinone dye. The aim of this work is to evaluate triphenylmethane dye Cresol Red degradation by fungal strain isolated from the decayed wood in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Detailed taxonomic studies identified the organisms as Trichoderma species and designated as strain Trichoderma harzianum M06. In this study, Cresol Red was decolorized up to 88% within 30 days under agitation condition by Trichoderma harzianum M06. Data analysis revealed that a pH value of 3 yielded a highest degradation rate among pH concentrations (73%), salinity concentrations of 100 g/L (73%), and a volume of 0.1 mL of Tween 80 (79%). Induction in the enzyme activities of manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, laccase, 1,2- and 2,3-dioxygenase indicates their involvement in Cresol Red removal. Various analytical studies such as Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC), UV-Vis spectrophotometer, and Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmed the biotransformation of Cresol Red by the fungus. Two metabolites were identified in the treated medium: 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (t R 7.3 min and m/z 355) and 2-hydroxybenzoic acid (t R 8.6 min and m/z 267). Based on these products, a probable pathway has been proposed for the degradation of Cresol Red by Trichoderma harzianum M06.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.