Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 15, pp 5961–5971 | Cite as

Biotransformation of chlorpyrifos and endosulfan by bacteria and fungi

  • M Supreeth
  • NS Raju


Large quantities of pesticides are applied on crops to protect them from pests in modern agricultural practices around the globe. The two insecticides, chlorpyrifos, belonging to the organophosphorous group and endosulfan, belonging to the organochlorine group, are vastly used insecticides on agricultural crops in the last three decades. Hence, both these insecticides are ubiquitous in the environment. Once applied, these two insecticides undergo transformation in the environment either biologically or non-biologically. Microbial degradation has been considered a safe and cost-effective method for removing contaminants from the environment. Both the insecticides have been subjected to biodegradation studies using various bacteria and fungi by the researchers. Here, in this review, we report on biotransformed products formed during the course of biodegradation of these two insecticides and also discuss about the aftereffects of their transformed metabolites. This is important, because the primary biotransformed metabolites 3,5,6, trichloro-2-pyridinol of chlorpyrifos and endosulfan sulfate of endosulfan are toxic as their parent compounds and are noxious to variety of organisms. In conclusion, it is recommended to obtain microbial cultures capable of mineralizing pesticides completely without formation of any such toxic by-product before adopting bioremediation or bioaugmentation technology.


Insecticides Chlorpyrifos Endosulfan Biotransformation Transformed metabolites 



The authors thank the Department of Science and Technology (DST)—Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India, for grant received (SB/EMEQ-041/2013) to carry out this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Studies in Environmental Science, ManasagangotriUniversity of MysoreMysuruIndia

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