Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists target microorganisms to break down toxic pesticide

17.01.2003


Using biological means to detoxify large, contaminated sites is receiving high praise as an alternative to incineration or landfill methods



A pesticide used extensively all over the world is receiving attention these days more for methods being used to clean it up than for its use as chemical to control insects and mites.

Endosulfan, classified as an organochlorine (the same family as DDT), is registered for use as a pesticide on 60 U.S. crops. Its residues have been found in the atmosphere, soils, sediments, surface and ground waters, and food. It is one of the most commonly detected pesticides in U.S. water (38 states) and is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Category 1 pesticide with extremely high acute toxicity. Endosulfan affects the central nervous system, kidney, liver, blood chemistry and parathyroid gland and has reproductive, teratogenic and mutagenic effects.


Total average annual use of endosulfan is estimated at approximately 1.38 million pounds of the active ingredient. Endosulfan and its breakdown products are persistent in the environment with an estimated half-life of 9 months to 6 years. Because it is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) that enters the air, water, and soil during its use and manufacture, scientists have been researching ways to safely and effectively breakdown this neurotoxin.

Researchers from the University of California-Riverside and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, recently identified specific microorganisms which can breakdown the toxicity of endosulfan. Detoxifying pesticides through biological means is receiving serious attention as an alternative to existing methods, such as incineration and landfill, which are not sufficient for large, contaminated sites. By identifying microorganisms to specifically degrade endosulfan, these researchers were able to drastically reduce the toxic residues in the soil. The results of this study are published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Various environmental samples were collected from different polluted sites to identify and isolate microorganisms for their ability to breakdown endosulfan. Out of 10 microorganisms isolated and screened, two proved successful in degrading endosulfan: Fusarium and Pandoraea spp.

Project leader William T. Frankenberger, University of California-Riverside, states, “Pollutants can be degraded by microorganisms when they use the toxin as a carbon and energy source. We have been successful in isolating two strains that have immense potential for endosulfan degradation.”

The results of this work suggest these novel strains are a valuable source of endosulfan-degrading enzymes and may be used for the detoxification of endosulfan in contaminated soils, wastedumps, water bodies, industrial effluents and unused or expired stockpiles of the pesticide.


The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) www.crops.org and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) www.soils.org are educational organizations helping their 10,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop, and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.


Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>