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Minerva Biotecnologica 2011 June-September;23(2-3):39-43


language: English

Biodegradation of methyl parathion by newly isolated Bacillus pumilus T1

Ali M. 1, Ahmed Kanhar N. 2, Hameed A. 3, Ahmed S. 3

1 Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; 2 Department of Microbiology, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Pakistan; 3 Department of Microbiology, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan


Aim. Organophosphates have been used as pesticides around the world. These chemicals cause serious problems related to the human health. Present study was designed to isolate organophosphate degrading bacterium and to detect gene involved in the preliminary hydrolysis of organophosphates.
Methods. Soil samples were used to isolate methyl parathion degrading bacterium by enrichment technique. API identification kits were used to identify bacterium. Biodegradation of methyl parathion was analysed by high pressure liquid chromatography. Primers were designed for the detection of organophosphate degrading gene and a segment of gene was amplified through polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Spectrophotometer was used to study biodegradation of p-nitrophenol (an intermediate compound).
Results. A soil bacterium Bacillus pumilus T1 was isolated having the ability to degrade methyl parathion by soil enrichment technique. Methyl parathion at a concentration of 500 ppm was degraded within 28 days in the presence of glucose when studied under shake flask experiment at 30ºC. Experiment was also conducted to observe the degradation of p-nitrophenol by Bacillus pumilus T1. Approximately 70% p-nitrophenol was cometabolically degraded within 24 hours. Results of PCR showed the presence of opdA gene in the isolated strain.
Conclusion. A bacterial strain Bacillus pumilus T1 was isolated from the contaminated soil and the strain was analyzed for its potential of methyl parathion degradation. The strain can be used for the bioremediation of methyl parathion contaminated soil.

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