Complete mineralization of methylparathion by Pseudomonas sp. A3

M P Ramanathan, D Lalithakumari
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 1999, 80 (1): 1-12
Organophosphorus insecticides are widely used in agriculture. Despite their biodegradable nature, some are highly toxic and their residues are found in the environment. Reports on the mineralization of a spectrum of these insecticides by a single potential strain are scarce. We have isolated a soil isolate, Pseudomonas sp. A3, through enrichment technique, able to degrade methylparathion (MP), malathion, monocrotophos, and Diazinon. The potential of this strain to mineralize MP as a carbon and/or phosphorus source has been evaluated. On hydrolysis of MP, the aromatic portion (p-nitrophenol) was used as a carbon and energy source whereas the alkyl moiety (dithiomethylphosphorothioate) was broken down for the phosphorus source. The results from the experiments involving [U-14C]p-nitrophenol provided the evidence for incorporation of carbon into the cellular constituents and release of CO2 from this insecticide. During the breakdown of MP, nitrite was released as a catabolic by-product.

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