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Asian Journal of Biotechnology
Year: 2020  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 136 - 144

Microbial Degradation of the Organophosphorus Insecticide, Methyl Parathion Using the Natural Bacterial Isolate, Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Archana, Appasamy Surendran and Antony Joseph Thatheyus    

Abstract: Background and Objective: Pesticides are hazardous to human beings, flora, fauna and ecosystems. Though they are applied to increase the productivity in crop fields for controlling pests, they cause pollution in air, water and soil. Bioremediation is employed to clean polluted sites using organisms. Microbes are ubiquitous and some of them can degrade pesticides. Hence the present study has been designed to isolate a bacterial strain capable of degrading methyl parathion and to test its efficiency of degradation. Materials and Methods: Soil samples collected from contaminated crop fields were subjected to serial dilution, plating and incubation. From the grown colonies one colony was chosen and it was identified using biochemical tests. It was tested for its efficiency after exposing to 50, 100, 150 and 200 ppm for 30 h by monitoring changes in pH, orthophosphate, turbidity and the influence of sugars and immobilization. UV-visible spectrophotometry, HPLC analysis and statistical analysis were carried out to confirm the degradation efficiency of the natural isolate. Results: The natural isolate was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa based on the results of biochemical tests. Maximum orthophosphate was released in 200 ppm methyl parathion. The pH declined during degradation while turbidity exhibited an increase which indirectly indicated the degradation by the natural isolate. Orthophosphate level increased steadily when immobilized cells were tested. All the tested carbohydrates enhanced the release of orthophosphate. Both UV-visible spectrophotometry and HPLC analysis confirmed the degradation of the pesticide by the natural isolate. Conclusion: The natural isolate can be used to degrade pesticides like methyl parathion and its capacity can be enhanced by immobilization or supplementation with carbohydrates.

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