Committee: Mark Brenner, Dana Emmert, Langdon Martin
Mycoremediation is the utilization of fungus to decontaminate polluted spaces. Fungi are a natural fit for this role because they function as decomposers in an ecosystem. In the modern day part of being a decomposer in and ecosystem entails petrol chemicals and products. Researchers are paying more attention to the powers of fungi as decomposers for this reason. This study follows in this vein of research to further explore the promise and problems there may be with utilizing fungi in remediation of petrol polluted soils. Soils were collected from Warren Wilson College Buncombe County North Carolina and contaminated with diesel fuel at 1 ppm, 2 ppm, 4 ppm, and 8 ppm. These soils were then put into jars with layers of wheat straw and P ostreatus mycelium. Controls were also created which were contaminated with diesel at 8 ppm and incubated with no mycelium; had no contamination and mycelium; or had neither diesel nor mycelium. All treatments were incubated for 5 months. After the incubation period soils were removed and put into a petri dish with V unguiculata seeds. A one and two way ANOVA was run on the germination of the seeds in relation to their treatment with diesel and mycelium. The one way ANOVA determined that there was not a significant difference (p=0.381) between the germination of V unguiculata seeds in the various concentrations of diesel. The two way ANOVA determined that diesel fuel made a significant difference on seed germination within the 92% range (p=0.0786). The two way ANOVA also determined that mycelium had made a significant difference on seed germination (p < 0.0001).