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Pesticides are widely used for managing pathogens and pests for sustainable agricultural output to feed around seven billion people worldwide. After their targeted role, residues of these compounds may build up and persist in soils and in the food chain. This study evaluated the efficiency of bacterial strains capable of plant growth promotion and biodegradation of profenofos. To execute this, bacteria were isolated from an agricultural area with a history of repeated application of profenofos. The profenofos degrading bacterial strains with growth-promoting characteristics were identified based on biochemical and molecular approaches through partial 16S ribosomal rRNA gene sequencing. The results revealed that one strain, Enterobacter cloacae MUG75, degraded over 90% profenofos after 9 days of incubation. Similarly, plant growth was significantly increased in plants grown in profenofos (100 mg L-1) contaminated soil inoculated with the same strain. The study demonstrated that inoculation of profenofos degrading bacterial strains increased plant growth and profenofos degradation. Novelty statementPesticides are extensively applied in the agriculture sector to overcome pest attacks and to increase food production to fulfill the needs of the growing world population. Residues of these pesticides can persist in the environment for long periods, may enter the groundwater reservoirs and cause harmful effects on living systems highlighting the need for bioremediation of pesticide-contaminated environments. Microbes can use pesticides as a source of carbon and energy and convert them into less toxic and non-toxic products. Application of profenofos degrading rhizobacteria in interaction with the plants in the rhizosphere can remediate the pesticide-contaminated soils and minimize their uptake into the food chain. Hence, this approach can improve soil health and food quality without compromising the environment.


Muhammad Usman Ghani, Hafiz Naeem Asghar, Abdullah Niaz, Zahir Ahmad Zahir, Muhammad Farrakh Nawaz, Max M Häggblom. Efficacy of rhizobacteria for degradation of profenofos and improvement in tomato growth. International journal of phytoremediation. 2022;24(5):463-473

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PMID: 34304658

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