Enrichment and isolation of endosulfan degrading and detoxifying bacteria

Chemosphere. 2007 Jun;68(2):317-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.12.076. Epub 2007 Feb 7.


In the present study, degradation of endosulfan by a mixed culture isolated from a pesticide-contaminated soil was studied in batch experiments. After two weeks of incubation, the mixed culture was able to degrade 73% and 81% of alpha and beta endosulfan respectively. Endodiol was identified by GC/MS as degradation intermediate. The toxicity studies of endosulfan before and after degradation were carried out using micronucleus assay on human polymorphonuclear cells. The findings suggested that the metabolism of endosulfan isomers by the mixed culture was accompanied by significant reduction in the toxicity. Studies were also carried out to quantify the degradation potential of the individual species in the mixed bacterial culture. Two cultures identified by 16S rRNA as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Rhodococcus erythropolis were found to be responsible for majority of the degradation by the mixed culture. S. maltophilia showed better degradation efficiency compared to that by R. erythropolis. This is the first report of endosulfan degradation using the above-mentioned organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Endosulfan / metabolism*
  • Endosulfan / toxicity
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / metabolism*
  • Insecticides / toxicity
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Rhodococcus / isolation & purification*
  • Rhodococcus / metabolism*
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism*
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / isolation & purification*
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / metabolism*


  • Insecticides
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Endosulfan