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The white rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus was able to mineralize to (sup14)CO(inf2) 7.0% of [(sup14)C]catechol, 3.0% of [(sup14)C]phenanthrene, 0.4% of [(sup14)C]pyrene, and 0.19% of [(sup14)C]benzo[a]pyrene by day 11 of incubation. It also mineralized [(sup14)C]anthracene (0.6%) much more slowly (35 days) and [(sup14)C]fluorene (0.19%) within 15 days. P. ostreatus did not mineralize fluoranthene. The activities of the enzymes considered to be part of the ligninolytic system, laccase and manganese-inhibited peroxidase, were observed during fungal growth in the presence of the various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Although activity of both enzymes was observed, no distinct correlation to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation was found.