Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos using native bacteria

Prashaant Ranganathan

Prashaant Ranganathan
Carmel Junior College, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
Title: Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos using native bacteria
The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, remnant in farm soil, even at ppm levels, can cause permanent health damage to humans. Cost-effective and harmless procedures must be developed to destroy the remnant pesticide. Bacteria, native to the soil, can be used for the bio-degradation of the pesticide. The protocol developed for this purpose must be easily adoptable by the farmer and must be highly selective.
Farm soil containing remnant chlorpyrifos at very low levels was collected. Experiments were carried out with different solvents to extract the pesticide from the soil. Iso-octane was found to be most effective solvent. The conditions for extraction were optimized.
Bacteria present in the soil were cultured using chlorpyrifos as the only source of carbon. This ensured that only the bacteria that could flourish in this medium were selectively cultured whereas the other types of bacteria disappeared. A surfactant that was effective in assisting the multiplication of the bacterial colony was identified through experiments. The optimum levels of chlorpyrifos and the surfactant required for effective culturing of the bacterial colony were established. The protocol developed here can be easily adopted in the farm for culturing the bacteria and for the bio-degradation of chlorpyrifos.