Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 93–99 | Cite as

Isolation and degradation ability of the DDT-degrading bacterial strain KK

  • Hui Xie
  • Lusheng ZhuEmail author
  • Qifeng Xu
  • Jun Wang
  • Wei Liu
  • Jinhui Jiang
  • Yan Meng
Original Article


A 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT)-degrading bacterium was isolated from soil samples that had been enriched with DDT over a prolonged period of time; these samples were collected from the sewer sludge of a pesticide factory and from DDT-contaminated fields. This consortium was acclimated by repeated passage through a mineral salt medium containing increasing concentrations of DDT. We examined the effects of various factors such as the pH, temperature, concentration of DDT, and the presence of an additional carbon source on the degradation rate of DDT. Based on the analysis of the phenotype, physiological and biochemical characteristics, and 16S rDNA, the strain KK was identified to belong to the bacteria Alcaligenes. The results showed that at the end of 10 days, the rate of degradation of DDT by the strain KK was 66.5%. When the additional carbon source concentration, pH, concentration of DDT, and cultivation temperature is 0.5%, 6, 10 mg l−1, and 30°C, respectively, the biodegradation rate peaks. The results also suggested that (1) bacterial growth increases positively with an increase in the carbon source concentration; (2) the appropriate pH is between 8.0 and 10.0; and (3) the optimal temperature and DDT concentration are 30°C and 10 mg l−1, respectively.


Alcaligenes sp. DDT Microbial degradation Persistent organic pollutants 16S rDNA 







Persistent organic pollutants


Organochlorine pesticides


Minimal salts medium


63Ni electron capture detector


  1. Alexander M (2000) Aging, bioavailability and overestimation of risk from environmental pollutants. Environ Sci Technol 34:4259–4265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baba D, Yasuta T, Yoshida N, Kimura Y, Miyake K, Inoue Y, Toyota K, Katayama A (2007) Anaerobic biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls by a microbial consortium originated from uncontaminated paddy soil. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 23:1627–1636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bumpus JA, Aust SD (1987) Biodegradation of DDT by the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Appl Environ Microbiol 53:2001–2008Google Scholar
  4. Gong ZM, Wang XJ, Li BG, Cao J, Xu FL, Cui YH, Zhang WJ, Shen WR, Qin BP, Sun R, Tao S (2003) The residues distribution of DDT and its metabolites in soils from Tianjin Region, China. Chin Acta Sci Circumstantiae 23:447–451 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. Gunalan P, Fournier JC (1993) Effect of microbial competition on the survival and activity of 2, 4-D-degrading Alcaligenes xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans added to soil. Lett Appl Microbiol 16:178–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hay AG, Focht DD (1998) Cometabolism of 1, 1-dichloro-2, 2-bis (4-chlorophenyl) ethane by Pseudomonas acidovorans M3GYgrown on biphenyl. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:2141–2146Google Scholar
  7. Hu JX, Dou YW, Zhao ZY, Zhang JB, Liu JG, Zhao LJ (2006) The environmental impact analysis on phasing out DDT in China. Chin Environ Pollut Control 28:222–225 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Huang X, Pan JJ, Liang B, Sun JQ, Zhao YY, Li SP (2009) Isolation, characterization of a strain capable of degrading imazethapyr and its use in degradation of the herbicide in soil. Curr Microbiol 59:363–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kamanavalli CM, Ninnekar HZ (2004) Biodegradation of DDT by a Pseudomonas species. Curr Microbiol 48:10–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kannan K, Tanabe S, Tatsukawa R (1995) Geographical distribution and accumulation features of organochlorine residues in fish of tropical Asia and Oceania. Environ Sci Technol 29:2673–2683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mansy AE, El-Bestawy E (2002) Toxicity and biodegradation of fluometuron by selected cyanobacterial species. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 18:125–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nadeau LJ, Mann FM, Breen A, Sayler GS (1994) Aerobic degradation of 1, 1, 1-trichloro-2, 2-bis-(4-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDT) by Alcaligenes eutrophus A5. Appl Environ Microbiol 60:51–55Google Scholar
  13. Nadeau LJ, Sayler GS, Spain JC (1998) Oxidation of 1, 1, 1,-trichloro-2, 2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) by Alcaligenes eutrophus A5. Arch Microbiol 171:44–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Qiu XH, Zhu T, Yao B, Hu JX, Hu SW (2005) Contribution of dicofol to the current DDT pollution in China. Environ Sci Technol 39:4385–4390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Quensen JF III, Mueller SA, Jain MK, Tiedje JM (1998) Reductive dechlorination of DDE to DDMU in marine sediment microcosms. Science 280:722–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Subba-Rao RV, Alexander M (1977) Products formed from analogues of DDT metabolites by Pseudomonas putida. Appl Environ Microbiol 33:101–108Google Scholar
  17. Subba-Rao RV, Alexander M (1985) Bacterial and fungal cometabolism of 1, 1, 1-trichloro-2, 2-bis (4-chloro phenyl)ethane and its breakdown products. Appl Environ Microbiol 49:509–516Google Scholar
  18. Tao S, Xu FL, Wang WJ (2005) Organochlorine pesticides in agricultural soil and vegetables from Tianjin, China. Environ Sci Technol 39:2494–2499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Turgut C, Gokbulut C, Cutright TJ (2009) Contents and sources of DDT impurities in dicofol formulations in Turkey. Environ Sci Pollut Res 16:214–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Van Veen JA, Van Overbeek LS, Van Elas JD (1997) Fate and activity of microorganisms introduced into soils. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 61:121–135Google Scholar
  21. Wang TY, Lu YL, Shi YJ, Giesy JP, Luo W (2007) Organochlorine pesticides in soils around Guanting Reservoir, China. Environ Geochem Health 29:491–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wedemeyer G (1966) Dechlorination of DDT by Aerobacter aerognes. Science 152:647–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Xing XL, Qi SH, Odhiambo JO, Zhang Y, Liu YP (2009) Influence of environmental variables on spatial distribution of organochlorine pesticides in Sichuan, west China. Environ Earth Sci 59:215–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhang G, Parker A, House A, Mai B, Li X, Kang Y, Wang ZS (2002) Sedimentary records of DDT and HCH in the Pearl River Delta, south China. Environ Sci Technol 36:3671–3677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zhu YF, Liu H, Xi ZQ, Cheng HX, Xu XB (2005) Organochlorine pesticides (DDTs and HCHs) in soils from the outskirts of Beijing, China. Chemosphere 60:770–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Xie
    • 1
  • Lusheng Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qifeng Xu
    • 1
  • Jun Wang
    • 1
  • Wei Liu
    • 1
  • Jinhui Jiang
    • 1
  • Yan Meng
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina

Personalised recommendations