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Fungi show a variety of abilities in affecting metal speciation, toxicity, and mobility and mineral formation, dissolution or deterioration through several interacting biomechanical and biochemical mechanisms. A consequence of many metal-mineral interactions is the production of nanoparticles which may be in elemental, mineral or compound forms. Organisms may benefit from such nanomaterial formation through removal of metal toxicity, protection from environmental stress, and their redox properties since certain mycogenic nanoparticles can act as nanozymes mimicking enzymes such as peroxidase. With the development of nanotechnology, there is growing interest in the application of biological systems for nanomaterial production which may provide economic benefits and a lower damaging environmental effect than conventional chemical synthesis. Fungi offer some advantages since most are easily cultured under controlled conditions and well known for the secretion of metabolites and enzymes related to nanoparticle or nanomineral formation. Nanoparticles can be formed intracellularly or extracellularly, the latter being favourable for easy harvest, while the cell wall also provides abundant nucleation sites for their formation. In this article, we focus on the synthesis of nanoparticles and nanominerals by fungi, emphasizing the mechanisms involved, and highlight some possible applications of fungal nanomaterials in environmental biotechnology.
- Environmental biotechnology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
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