Influence of Dyes on Metal Removal: a Study Using Live and Dead Cells of Penicillium simplicissimum in Single-Metal and Dye-Metal Mixtures

  • Si Hui Chen
  • Yuen Lin Cheow
  • Si Ling Ng
  • Adeline Su Yien Ting


The metal removal efficiency of live and dead fungal cells of Penicillium simplicissimum (isolate 10, KP713758) was tested against 100 ppm toxic metals Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn and trivalent Cr in single-metal solutions and in mixtures with 50 ppm triphenylmethane (TPM) dyes (Cotton Blue, Crystal Violet, Methyl Violet, and Malachite Green). Results revealed that live cells were more effective at removing metals from single (10.8–70.0%) and dye-metal mixtures (5.3–62.2%) than dead cells (5.1–27.4%). The dyes in dye-metal mixtures influenced metal uptake capacity. All four dyes inhibited the uptake of Cd (0.9–7.1%), Zn (5.3–7.7%), Cu (5.0–25.8%) and Cr (47.3–60.7%) by live cells. The exception was the enhance removal of Pb by live cells (48.6 to 56.3–62.2%) in the presence of dye (MG or CB). Pb uptake was not affected by MV (51.8%), but was inhibited by CV (31.9%). For dead cells, uptake of metals (Cd, Cr and Zn) in single (3.2–27.4%) and dye-metal solutions (0.7–27.4%) was similar, whilst removal of Cu (6.4–13.5%) and Pb (33.6–44.0%) was inhibited by all four dyes. P. simplicissimum is concluded to have potential to remove toxic metals even in the presence of TPM dyes, with preferred use of live cells than dead cells.


Binary mixtures Bioremediation Toxic metals Triphenylmethane dyes 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/2/2013/STWN01/MUSM/02/2), and Monash University Malaysia.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2018_3931_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (148 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ScienceMonash University MalaysiaPetaling JayaMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Chemical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia

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