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DDT resistance and transformation by different microbial strains isolated from DDT-contaminated soils and compost materials

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian Singleton


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Bioremediation is a potential option to treat 1, 1, 1-trichloro-2, 2 bis (4-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDT) contaminated sites. In areas where suitable microbes are not present, the use of DDT resistant microbial inoculants may be necessary. It is vital that such inoculants do not produce recalcitrant breakdown products e.g. 1, 1-dichloro-2, 2-bis (4-chlorophenyl) ethylene (DDE). Therefore, this work aimed to screen DDT-contaminated soil and compost materials for the presence of DDT-resistant microbes for use as potential inoculants. Four compost amended soils, contaminated with different concentrations of DDT, were used to isolate DDT-resistant microbes in media containing 150 mg I-1 DDT at three temperatures (25, 37 and 55°C). In all soils, bacteria were more sensitive to DDT than actinomycetes and fungi. Bacteria isolated at 55°C from any source were the most DDT sensitive. However DDT-resistant bacterial strains showed more promise in degrading DDT than isolated fungal strains, as 1, 1-dichloro 2, 2-bis (4-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDD) was a major bacterial transformation product, while fungi tended to produce more DDE. Further studies on selected bacterial isolates found that the most promising bacterial strain (Bacillus sp. BHD-4) could remove 51% of DDT from liquid culture after 7 days growth. Of the amount transformed, 6% was found as DDD and 3% as DDE suggesting that further transformation of DDT and its metabolites occurred.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kantachote D, Singleton I, McClure N, Naidu R, Megharaj M, Harch BD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Compost Science and Utilization

Year: 2003

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Pages: 300-310

Print publication date: 01/09/2003

ISSN (print): 1065-657X

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: JG Press, Inc.