A genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) capable of simultaneous degrading methyl parathion (MP) and carbofuran was successfully constructed by random insertion of a methyl parathion hydrolase gene (mpd) into the chromosome of a carbofuran degrading Sphingomonas sp. CDS-1 with the mini-transposon system. The GEM constructed was relatively stable and cell viability and original degrading characteristic was not affected compared with the original recipient CDS-1. The effects of temperature, initial pH value, inoculum size and alternative carbon source on the biodegradation of MP and carbofuran were investigated. GEM cells could degrade MP and carbofuran efficiently in a relatively broad range of temperatures from 20 to 30°C, initial pH values from 6.0 to 9.0, and with all initial inoculation cell densities (10 5-107 CFU ml-1), even if alternative glucose existed. The optimal temperature and initial pH value for GEM cells to simultaneously degrade MP and carbofuran was at 30°C and at pH 7.0. The removal of MP and carbofuran by GEM cells in sterile and non-sterile soil were also studied. In both soil samples, 50 mg kg-1 MP and 25 mg kg -1 carbofuran could be degraded to an undetectable level within 25 days even if there were indigenous microbial competition and carbon sources effect. In sterile soil, the biodegradation rates of MP and carbofuran were faster, and the decline of the inoculated GEM cells was slower compared with that in non-sterile soil. The GEM constructed in this study was potential useful for pesticides bioremediation in natural environment.
- Genetically engineered microorganism
- Methyl parathion