Sean Swift

Date of Award


First Advisor

Donald Roeder

Second Advisor

David Myers


The biocide pentachlorophenol (PCP) is on the EPA list of priority pollutants and is currently used as an industrial preservative at wood treatment plants. This thesis examines the effectiveness of the spent substrate of the white rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus in remediating soil contaminated with PCP while describing the larger trends and processes involved in bioremediation. Soil taken from the New England Log Homes site in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was treated with straw inoculated with the white rot fungus P. ostreatus for 28 days. PCP concentrations were measured before and after via GC/MS analysis. Post-treatment measurements showed a statistically significant decrease (P = 0.0192) in PCP concentrations of 84% in one of the three treated samples. Additionally, when data from the three samples was pooled, a significant decrease(P = 0.0338) was observed. The results of this study suggest that the spent substrate of oyster mushrooms is effective at reducing PCP concentrations, but but the specific trend was clouded by variance in the results. The complexity and variability of these results are perhaps indicative of the difficulties inherent in the field of bioremediation.

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