Biotransformation of the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam by Pseudomonas sp. 1G

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Mar 13;380(3):710-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.01.156. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


We report the isolation of a Pseudomonas sp. which is able to transform imidacloprid and thiamethoxam under microaerophilic conditions in the presence of an alternate carbon source. This bacterium, Pseudomonas sp. 1G, was isolated from soil with a history of repeated exposure to imidacloprid. Both insecticides were transformed to nitrosoguanidine (NNO), desnitro (NH), and urea (O) metabolites and a transformation pathway is proposed. This is the first conclusive report of bacterial transformation of the 'magic nitro' group which is responsible for the insect selectivity of neonicotinoid insecticides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biotransformation
  • Imidazoles / metabolism*
  • Insecticides / metabolism*
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds / metabolism*
  • Oxazines / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism*
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Thiamethoxam
  • Thiazoles / metabolism*


  • Imidazoles
  • Insecticides
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds
  • Oxazines
  • Thiazoles
  • imidacloprid
  • Thiamethoxam