Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 252–256 | Cite as

Hydrolysis of fenamiphos and its oxidation products by a soil bacterium in pure culture, soil and water

  • M. Megharaj
  • N. Singh
  • R. S. Kookana
  • R. Naidu
  • N. Sethunathan
Original Paper


A bacterium, identified as Brevibacterium sp. MM1, readily hydrolysed fenamiphos, a widely used organophosphorus insecticide and its toxic oxides (fenamiphos sulfoxide, fenamiphos sulfone), which all contain a common P–O–C bond, in a mineral salts medium. The bacterium also hydrolysed fenamiphos and its oxides in soil and groundwater. Interestingly, fenamiphos phenol, fenamiphos sulfoxide phenol and fenamiphos sulfone phenol, formed during bacterial hydrolysis of fenamiphos and its oxides, persisted in the mineral salts medium, but were transitory in soil and groundwater due to their further metabolism by indigenous micro-organisms. The cell-free preparation (crude enzyme) of this bacterium was very effective in hydrolysing fenamiphos. This is the first report on exceptionally rapid hydrolysis of fenamiphos by a bacterium in pure cultures, soil and groundwater.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Mineral Salt Medium Parathion Diazinon Methyl Parathion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. Z. Chen for help in HPLC analysis, Paul Pavelic for providing the groundwater samples and Dr. Brian Williams, University of Adelaide, for his critical comments. N.S. was supported by a BOYSCAST Fellowship, Government of India, New Delhi, India. Support from the Remediation of Contaminated Environments Program, CSIRO Land and Water, is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Megharaj
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Singh
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. S. Kookana
    • 1
  • R. Naidu
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Sethunathan
    • 1
  1. 1.Remediation of Contaminated Environments ProgramCSIRO Land and WaterAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Environmental Assessment and RemediationUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  3. 3.Division of Agricultural ChemicalsIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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