Aims: To study the degradation of phorate by a bacterium isolated from phorate-contaminated sites.
Methods and results: Ralstonia eutropha strain AAJ1 isolated from soil was found to degrade phorate (supplied as sole carbon source) upto 85% in 10 days in liquid medium. Half-life (t((1/2))) of phorate in the liquid medium in control (uninoculated) and in experimental (inoculated with R. eutropha, strain AAJ1) samples was recorded as 36.49 and 6.29 days, respectively. Kinetics revealed that phorate degradation depends on time and the reaction follows the first order kinetics. Diethyl dithiophosphate was one of the degradation products, which is markedly less toxic than the parent compound; other degradation products included phorate sulfoxide and phorate sulfone. Release of inorganic phosphates and sulfates indicated the potential of the isolate to further degrade the above-mentioned metabolites to simpler forms. The strain was also found to poses phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase enzymatic activity, which are involved in biodegradation of organophosphorus compounds.
Conclusions: Ralstonia eutropha AAJ1 could degrade and detoxify phorate upto 85% in 10 days in laboratory conditions.
Significance and impact of the study: The isolate has the potential to be utilized for remediation of phorate-contaminated water and soil.