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Journal of Environmental Management
117, 2013; Pages: 7 - 16

Biodegradation and bioremediation potential of diazinon-degrading Serratia marcescens to remove other organophosphorus pesticides from soils

Mariusz Cycon, Agnieszka Zmijowska, Marcin Wójcik, Zofia Piotrowska-Seget

Department of Microbiology and Virology, Medical University of Silesia, Jagiellonska 4, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland.


The ability of diazinon-degrading Serratia marcescens to remove organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs), i.e. chlorpyrifos (CP), fenitrothion (FT), and parathion (PT) was studied in a mineral salt medium (MSM) and in three soils of different characteristics. This strain was capable of using all insecticides at concentration of 50 mg/l as the only carbon source when grown in MSM, and 58.9%, 70.5%, and 82.5% of the initial dosage of CP, FT, and PT, respectively was degraded within 14 days. The biodegradation experiment showed that autochthonous microflora in all soils was characterized by a degradation potential of all tested OPPs; however, the initial lag phases for degradation of CP and FT, especially in sandy soil, were observed. During the 42-day experiment, 45.3%, 61.4% and 72.5% of the initial dose of CP, FT, and PT, respectively, was removed in sandy soil whereas the degradation of CP, FT, and PT in the same period, in sandy loam and silty soils reached 61.4%, 79.7% and 64.2%, and 68.9%, 81.0% and 63.6%, respectively. S. marcescensintroduced into sterile soils showed a higher degradation potential (5–13%) for OPPs removal than those observed in non-sterile soil with naturally occurring attenuation. Inoculation of non-sterile soils withS. marcescens enhanced the disappearance rates of all insecticides, and DT50 for CP, FT, and PT was reduced by 20.7, 11.3 and 13.0 days, and 11.9, 7.0 and 8.1 days, and 9.7, 14.5 and 12.6 days in sandy, sandy loam, and silty soils, respectively, in comparison with non-sterile soils with only indigenous microflora. This ability of S. marcescens makes it a suitable strain for bioremediation of soils contaminated with OPPs.

Keywords: Chlorpyrifos; Fenitrothion; Parathion; Serratia marcescens; Bioremediation; Soil



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