Laccase from Scytalidium thermophilum: Production Improvement, Catalytic Behavior and Detoxifying Ability of Diclofenac

  • Sonia Ben YounesEmail author
  • Saoussen Ben Khedher
  • Yongjun Zhang
  • Sven-Uwe Geissen
  • Sami Sayadi


The intensive use of diclofenac (DCF), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, has led to its wide occurrence in the environment. The present study investigated the potential use of the fungal Scytalidium thermophilum laccase for DCF removal and detoxification. Firstly, the culture conditions for the maximum fungal laccase production were optimized with a hybrid design and the obtained conditions were: glucose, 13 g L−1; ammonium tartrate, 7.5 g L−1; yeast extract, 11.5 g L−1; CuSO4, 300 µM; temperature, 42 °C and aeration, 30%. A maximum laccase activity of 8220 U L−1 was detected at 5th day, which was fivefold higher than the result with the initial medium. Secondly and for the first time, the laccase successfully removed 98% of DCF at optimum conditions (37 °C, pH 4.5 and DCF 200 mg L−1) within 8 h and without mediators. Genotoxicity, cytotoxicity and phytotoxcity revealed a non toxic metabolites after biologic treatment via S. thermophilum laccase. In fact, hemolytic effect of treated DCF was significantly less than that of untreated DCF. This result was confirmed by morphological variations in erythrocyte shape in both treated and untreated DCF, in comparison to untreated control of red blood cells. In addition, the algal toxicity suggested that treated DCF was significantly less toxic than untreated DCF in chlorophyll contents showing an increase of carotenoids and lycopenes, in comparison to the control culture of D. salina. The effectiveness of S. thermophilum laccase in the DCF biotransformation and its toxicity removal can be considered an interesting option for further environmental applications.

Graphical Abstract


Scytalidium thermophilum laccase Hybrid design Diclofenac Degradation Detoxification 



This work is financially supported by the “Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research”.

Supplementary material

10562_2019_2771_MOESM1_ESM.doc (702 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 702 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Ben Younes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saoussen Ben Khedher
    • 2
  • Yongjun Zhang
    • 3
  • Sven-Uwe Geissen
    • 3
  • Sami Sayadi
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire des Bioprocédés Environnementaux, Centre de Biotechnologie de SfaxUniversité de SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Agronomical Institute of KefUniversity of JendoubaKefTunisia
  3. 3.Chair of Environmental Process Engineering, Department of Environmental TechnologyTechnical University of BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Center for Sustainable Development, College of Arts and SciencesQatar UniversityDohaQatar

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