Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos, Malathion, and Dimethoate by Three Strains of Bacteria Isolated from Pesticide-Polluted Soils in Sudan

This study was done to identify pesticide-biodegrading microorganisms and to characterize degradation rates. Bacillus safensis strain FO-36b<sup>T</sup>, Bacillus subtilis subsp. <i>inaquosorum</i> strain KCTC13429<sup>T</sup>, and Bacillus cereus strain ATCC14579<sup>T</sup> were isolated from pesticide-polluted soil in Sudan, separately incubated with each pesticide with periodic samples drawn for GC and GC-MS. Pesticide biodegradation followed a biphasic model. α and β half-lives (days) of chlorpyrifos, malathion, and dimethoate in B. safensis culture were 2.13, 4.76; 2.59, 5.66; and 9.5, 11.0, respectively. Values in B. subtilis and B. cereus cultures were 4.09, 9.45 and 4.33, 9.99 for chlorpyrifos; 2.99, 5.36 and 2.43, 4.71 for malathion; and 9.53, 15.11 and 4.16, 9.27 for dimethoate. No metabolite was detected in B. subtilis cultures, whereas a few were detected from B. safensis and B. cereus cultures. Bacterial efficiency can be ordered as B. safensis > B. subtilis > B. cereus for chlorpyrifos and B. cereus > B. subtilis > B. safensis for malathion and dimethoate.