Combining activated sludge cultures with microbes harboring specific degradation pathways could
constitute a relevant process for the removal of toxic and recalcitrant organic substances from
wastewater. Enhanced removal of three widely used recalcitrant pesticides from their liquid mixture
was demonstrated by implementing a non-acclimated mixed culture of bacteria and white-rot fungus.
During an incubation period of 14 days, the mixed fungus–bacteria culture achieved 47, 98, and 62%
removal of aldicarb, atrazine and alachlor from the liquid phase, respectively. This compared favorably to batches containing only non-acclimated fungus or previously published removal rates with nonacclimated bacterial cultures. Biosorption along with biodegradation was responsible for the removal of the pesticides from the liquid phase. Potential application modes of the studied biodegradation process
were also discussed.