Anitha Palanimanickam1 and Umamaheswari Sepperumal2

1Research Department of Zoology, Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College,
Tiruchirappalli – 620 002, Tamil Nadu, India.
2PG and Research Department of Zoology, Periyar EVR College,
Tiruchirappalli – 620 023, Tamil Nadu, India.


The indiscriminate application of pesticides to increase crop production could have adverse impact on the biota. Profenofos is an organophosphate pesticide used to kill flying, crawling, chewing and sucking insects in paddy cultivation. The present research was designed to isolate the bacteria prevalent in profenofos exposed paddy crop field soil and to evaluate their potential to degrade profenofos in soil under laboratory conditions. Bacillus cereus and Aneurinibacillus migulanus were the dominant bacteria. Among them, Aneurinibacillus migulanus accelerated the degradation of profenofos within 36 hour when compared to the control. 1,3- dimethyl benzene and 4-phenyl but-3-ene-lyne were obtained as degraded products of profenofos in control, which were not detected in soil exposed to Bacillus cereus and Aneurinibacillus migulanus. On the other hand, n-propyl benzene was obtained as degraded metabolite in soil exposed bacteria, which were not detected in the control. Isopropyl benzene was detected in soil exposed to Bacillus cereus and 1,2,3-4-tetra methyl benzene was detected in soil exposed to Aneurinibacillus migulanus as byproducts of profenofos degradation when compared to the control. Thus, these bacteria could play a vital role in degrading profenofos in soil.

Keywords: Organophosphate; Profenofos; Bacillus cereus; Aneurinibacillus migulanus; Biodegradation.