Author(s): Singh BK, Walker A, Morgan JA, Wright DJ
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Abstract Repeated treatment with fenamiphos (ethyl 4-methylthio-m-tolyl isopropylphosphoramidate) resulted in enhanced biodegradation of this nematicide in two United Kingdom soils with a high pH (>/= 7.7). In contrast, degradation of fenamiphos was slow in three acidic United Kingdom soils (pH 4.7 to 6.7), and repeated treatments did not result in enhanced biodegradation. Rapid degradation of fenamiphos was observed in two Australian soils (pH 6.7 to 6.8) in which it was no longer biologically active against plant nematodes. Enhanced degrading capability was readily transferred from Australian soil to United Kingdom soils, but only those with a high pH were able to maintain this capability for extended periods of time. This result was confirmed by fingerprinting bacterial communities by 16S rRNA gene profiling of extracted DNA. Only United Kingdom soils with a high pH retained bacterial DNA bands originating from the fenamiphos-degrading Australian soil. A degrading consortium was enriched from the Australian soil that utilized fenamiphos as a sole source of carbon. The 16S rRNA banding pattern (determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) from the isolated consortium migrated to the same position as the bands from the Australian soil and those from the enhanced United Kingdom soils in which the Australian soil had been added. When the bands from the consortium and the soil were sequenced and compared they showed between 97 and 100\% sequence identity, confirming that these groups of bacteria were involved in degrading fenamiphos in the soils. The sequences obtained showed similarity to those from the genera Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, and CAULOBACTER: In the Australian soils, two different degradative pathways operated simultaneously: fenamiphos was converted to fenamiphos sulfoxide (FSO), which was hydrolyzed to the corresponding phenol (FSO-OH) or was hydrolyzed directly to fenamiphos phenol. In the United Kingdom soils in which enhanced degradation had been induced, fenamiphos was oxidized to FSO and then hydrolyzed to FSO-OH, but direct conversion to fenamiphos phenol did not occur.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology