Isolation Characterization and Diversity of Indigenous Pesticide Degrading Microbes from Selected Agro Ecological Zones of Malawi

Samuel Mwafulirwa *

Ministry of Agriculture, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, Box-158, Lilongwe, Malawi.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Pesticide xenobiotics have a great impact on bio argumentation, bio-magnification, and environment degradation regardless of being adopted by green revolution technologies. Bioremediation is widely accepted because it’s cheap, practical at the same time environmentally friendly. Bioremediation advocates indigenous microbes use to degrade pesticides, therefore a study has been performed to show prospects of degrading microorganisms. The study isolated microbes from different agro ecological zones to assess their capacity to utilize some pesticide as sole carbon source complimented by the presence of laccase gene. Biochemical test and genetic characterization using 16S rDNA genes were used in identification. Diversified species and strains of genus Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Pantoea and Leclercia, were found to degrade cypermethrin and acetochlor but no microbe was found to degrade dimethoate. The study adds new strain of microbes involved in degradation of cypermethrin and acetochlor and also strains that that can degrade both. The study puts proposition that pest infestation in fields is a result of abundance of xenobiotic degrading microbes due to natural selection pressure not pesticide resistance of the pest.

Keywords: Pesticide, cypermethrin, dimethoate, acetochlor, indigenous soil microorganisms, bioremediation, xenobiotics

How to Cite

Mwafulirwa, Samuel. 2023. “Isolation Characterization and Diversity of Indigenous Pesticide Degrading Microbes from Selected Agro Ecological Zones of Malawi”. Asian Plant Research Journal 11 (3):29-40.


Download data is not yet available.


Gupta G, Parihar SS, Ahirwar NK, Snehi SK, Singh V. Microbial & Biochemical Technology Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR): Current and Future Prospects for Development of Sustainable Agriculture. J Microb Biochem Technol. 2015;7(7):96-102.

DOI: 10.4172/1948-5948.1000188

Jhala AJ, Malik MS, Willis JB. Weed control and crop tolerance of micro-encapsulated acetochlor applied sequentially in glyphosate-resistant soybean. Published Online; 2015. DOI: 10.4141/CJPS-2014-422

Fisher PR, Appleton J, Pemberton JM. Isolation and Characterization of the Pesticide-Degrading Plasmid pJP1 from Alcaligenes paradoxus. 1978;135(3):798-804.


Kearney PC (Philip C., Roberts TR (Terence R. Pesticide Remediation in Soils and Water. Wiley; 1998.

Kucharski M, Dziągwa M, Sadowski J. Monitoring of acetochlor residues in soil and maize grain supported by the laboratory study. 2014;60(11):496-500.

Thatheyus AJ, Selvam ADG. Synthetic Pyrethroids : Toxicity and Biodegradation. 2013;1(3):33-36.


Ahmad F, Ã IA, Khan MS. Screening of free-living rhizospheric bacteria for their multiple plant growth promoting activities. 2008;163. DOI:10.1016/j.micres.2006.04.001

Johal GS, Huber DM. Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. Published online 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2009.04.004

Beres KK. The toxicity of glyphosate ‐ Based herbicides to soil bacteria and freshwater crustaceans. 2016; (September).

Eman A, Abdel-megeed A, Suliman A meshal A, Sadik MW. Original research article biodegradation of glyphosate by fungal strains isolated from herbicides polluted-soils in Riyadh area. 2013; 2(8):359-381.

Carvalho FP. Pesticides environment and food safety. Published Online; 2017. DOI:10.1002/fes3.108

Singh R, Singh P, Sharma R. Microorganism as a tool of bioremediation technology for cleaning environment : A review. 2014;4(1):1-6.

Annibale AD, Rosetto F, Leonardi V, Federici F, Petruccioli M. Role of Autochthonous Filamentous Fungi in Bioremediation of a Soil Historically Contaminated with Aromatic Hydro-carbons. 2006;72(1):28-36. DOI:10.1128/AEM.72.1.28

Ahuja SK, Ferreira GM, Moreira AR, Ahuja SK, Ferreira GM, Utilization ARM. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology Utilization of Enzymes for Environmental Applications Utilization of Enzymes for Environmental. 2016;8551. DOI: 10.1080/07388550490493726

Barot J, Chaudhari K. Analysis of Dimethoate Degradation By Kocuria Turfanensis Using Gc-Ms. Asian J Microbiol Biotechnol Environ Sci. 2020; 22(July):107-110.

Ramganga UP, Sarah R, Tabassum B, et al. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Channa punctatus ( Bloch ) in river. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2019;26(5):979-984. DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2019.02.009

Benelli G. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences Managing mosquitoes and ticks in a rapidly changing world – Facts and trends. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2019;26(5): 921-929. DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.06.007

Sundaram SK, Taj NA, Menaka R, Ajitha C. Biodegradation of Pesticides Through Metagenomic Approaches. J Adv Sci Res. 2022;13(02):29-37. DOI: 10.55218/jasr.202213205

Derbalah A, Massoud A, El-Mehasseb I, et al. Microbial detoxification of dimethoate and methomyl residues in aqueous media. Water (Switzerland). 2021;13(8): 1-14. DOI: 10.3390/w13081117

Mwafulirwa S, Obiero G, Mpeketula P, Aboge G. Isolation of indigenous glyphosate degrading microbes from selected agro ecological zones of Malawi. 2017;6(12):1-9.

Shamsuddeen U, Inuwa AB. Utilization Of Cypermethrin By Bacteria Isolated From Irrigated Soils. 2013;6(2):19-22.

Akbar S, Sultan S, Kertesz M. Determination of Cypermethrin Degradation Potential of Soil Bacteria Along with Plant Growth-Promoting Characteristics. Published online 2015:75-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00284-014-0684-7

Singh N, Abraham J. Isolation of laccase producing fungus from compost soil and partial characterization of laccase. 2013; 4(5):91-98.

Ambreen S, Yasmin A. Isolation, characterization and identification of organophosphate pesticide degrading bacterial isolates and optimization of their potential to degrade chlorpyrifos. Int J Agric Biol. 2020;24(4):699-706. DOI: 10.17957/IJAB/15.1489

Singh S, Kumar V, Singla S, et al. Kinetic study of the biodegradation of acephate by indigenous soil bacterial isolates in the presence of humic acid and metal ions. Biomolecules. 2020;10(3):1-11. DOI:10.3390/biom10030433

Aguila-Torres P, Maldonado J, Gaete A, et al. Biochemical and Genomic Characterization of the Cypermethrin-Degrading and Biosurfactant-Producing Bacterial Strains Isolated from Marine Sediments of the Chilean Northern Patagonia. Mar Drugs. 2020;18(5). DOI:10.3390/md18050252

Saied E, Fouda A, Alemam AM, et al. Evaluate the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticide cypermethrin before and after biodegradation by lysinibacillus cresolivuorans strain his7. Plants. 2021;10(9). DOI:10.3390/plants10091903

Karafakiog YS. Effects of a lipoic acid on noise induced oxidative stress in rats. 2019;26:989-994. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.08.008

S SN, Gomathy M, Manikandan K, Suresh S. Research article isolation and characterization of zinc solubilizing bacteria from soils of thoothukudi district. 2019;11(6):1620-1623.

Liu M, Liu X, Cheng B sen, et al. Selection and evaluation of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria from grapevine rhizospheres for use as biofertilizers. 2016;14(4).

Lim CJ. Glyphosate utilization as the source of carbon : Isolation and identification of new Bacteria. 2011;8(4): 1582-1587.

Ogot HA, Boga HI, Budambula N, et al. Isolation , characterization and identification of roundup degrading bacteria from the soil and gut of Macrotermes michaelseni. 2013;1(1): 31-38.

Kryuchkova Y V, Burygin GL, Gogoleva NE, et al. Isolation and characterization of a glyphosate-degrading rhizosphere strain, Enterobacter cloacae K7ଝ. Microbiol Res. 2014;169(1):99-105. DOI:10.1016/j.micres.2013.03.002

Neumann D, Heuer A, Hemkemeyer M, Martens R, Tebbe CC. Importance of soil organic matter for the diversity of microorganisms involved in the degradation of organic pollutants. ISME J. 2014;8(6):1289-1300. DOI:10.1038/ismej.2013.233

Kumari K, Fulekar DMH. Investigation of potential rhizospheric isolate for cypermethrin degradation. Published Online. 2013:33-43. DOI:10.1007/s13205-012-0067-3

Bhosle NP, Khan ZS, Nasreen S, Road C. Manuscript Info. 2013;1(2320):229-238.

Bhosle NP, Nasreen S. Remediation of Cypermethrin-25 EC by Microorganisms Siddharth Art , Commerce and Science College Jafrabad , Dist Jalna. 2013;3(1): 144-152.

Rani MS, Lakshmi KV, Devi PS, et al. Isolation and characterization of a chlorpyrifos- degrading bacterium from agricultural soil and its growth response. 2008;(2):26-31.

Malatova K, Morrill T. Isolation and characterization of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria from environmental habitats in Western New York State. Published online 2005.

Massiha A, Issazadeh K. Biodegradation of cypermethrin by using Indigenous bacteria Isolated from Surface Soil. 2012;35:71-76.

Roy O, Subbaiah UM. Optimization of cypermethrin degradation by bacterial cultures isolated from soil. 2017;02(01): 299-305.

Borowik A, Kucharski J. Microbial and enzymatic activity of soil contaminated with a mixture of diflufenican + mesosulfuron-methyl +. Published online 2015:643-656. DOI:10.1007/s11356-014-3395-5

Bai Z, Xu H juan, He H bo, Zheng L chen. Alterations of microbial populations and composition in the rhizosphere and bulk soil as affected by residual acetochlor. Published online 2013:369-379. DOI:10.1007/s11356-012-1061-3

El-nahhal Y, Awad Y, Safi J. Bioremediation of acetochlor in soil and water systems by cyanobacterial mat. 2013;2013(July):880-890.

Martins PF, Carvalho G, Gratão PL, et al. Effects of the herbicides acetochlor and metolachlor on antioxidant enzymes in soil bacteria. Process Biochem. 2011;46(5): 1186-1195. DOI:10.1016/j.procbio.2011.02.014

Ck H, Gayathri V. Effect of pesticide (chlorpyrifos) on soil microbial flora and pesticide degradation by strains isolated from contaminated soil. 2013;4(2):2-7. DOI:10.4172/2155-6199.1000178

Viswanath B, Rajesh B, Janardhan A. Fungal laccases and their applications in bioremediation fungal laccases and their applications in bioremediation. 2016;(October). DOI:10.1155/2014/163242

Castilho FJD, Torres RA, Barbosa AM, Dekker RFH, Garcia JE. On the diversity of the laccase gene: A phylogenetic perspective from botryosphaeria rhodina (Ascomycota: Fungi) and other related taxa. Biochem Genet. 2009;47(1-2): 80-91. DOI:10.1007/s10528-008-9208-0

Asnawati F, Citra H, Handayani NI, et al. Ability of ammonium excretion, indol acetic acid production and phosphate solubilization of nitrogen-fixing bacteria isolated from crop rhizosphere and their effect on plant growth. 2016;11(19):11735-11741.

Jahangir GZ, Sadiq M, Hassan N, Nasir IA, Saleem MZ, Iqbal M. The effectiveness of phosphate solubalizing bacteria as biocontrol agents. 2016;26(5):1313-1319.