Degradation of [8,9,-14C]endosulfan by soil microorganisms

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1976 Jun;31(6):853-8. doi: 10.1128/aem.31.6.853-858.1976.


Twenty-eight soil fungi, 49 soil bacteria, and 10 actinomycetes were tested as to their ability to degrade the insecticide endosulfan. Using 14C-labeled material, the qualitative as well as the quantitative formation of metabolities, as well as of 14CO2, could be followed. Sixteen fungi, 15 bacteria, and 3 actinomycetes were found capable of metabolizing more than 30% of the applied endosulfan. The major metabolities detected were endosulfate, formed by oxidation of the sulfite group, and endodiol, formed by hydrolysis of the ester bond. The majority of highly active fungi formed endosulfate as the major metabolite, whereas the majority of active bacteria formed endodiol. In addition to endosulfate and endodiol, individual cultures contained small quantities of endohydroxyether and two unidentified products. The very small quantities of 14CO2 evolved from cultures indicated that an extensive mineralization of the carbon skeleton of endosulfan did not occur.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales / metabolism
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Carbon Dioxide / biosynthesis
  • Endosulfan / analogs & derivatives
  • Endosulfan / metabolism*
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Species Specificity


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Endosulfan