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Isolation and Characterization of Fipronil Degrading Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Acinetobacter oleivorans from Rhizospheric Zone of Zea mays


An enrichment culture technique was used for the isolation of bacteria capable of utilizing fipronil as a sole source of carbon and energy. Based on morphological, biochemical characteristics and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA sequence, the bacterial strains were identified as Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Acinetobacter oleivorans. Biodegradation experiments were conducted in loamy sand soil samples fortified with fipronil (50 µg kg−1) and inoculated with Acinetobacter sp. cells (45 × 107 CFU mL−1) for 90 days. Soil samples were periodically analyzed by gas liquid chromatography equipped with electron capture detector. Biodegradation of fipronil fitted well with the pseudo first-order kinetics, with rate constant value between 0.041 and 0.051 days−1. In pot experiments, fipronil and its metabolites fipronil sulfide, fipronil sulfone and fipronil amide were found below quantifiable limit in soil and root, shoot and leaves of Zea mays. These results demonstrated that A. calcoaceticus and A. oleivorans may serve as promising strains in the bioremediation of fipronil-contaminated soils.

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CFU mL−1 :

Colony forming unit per mililitre






Water holding capacity

C0 :

Maximum concentration


Concentration at time t


Treatment times in days

t0 :

Treatment time of maximum concentration in days


Degradation rate constants (days−1)


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Laboratory facilities of G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar and Inspire Fellowship to Shivani Uniyal from Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi are thankfully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Shivani Uniyal.

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Uniyal, S., Paliwal, R., Verma, M. et al. Isolation and Characterization of Fipronil Degrading Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Acinetobacter oleivorans from Rhizospheric Zone of Zea mays . Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 833–838 (2016).

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  • Fipronil
  • Biodegradation
  • Acinetobacter
  • Kinetics
  • Metabolites