Excessive use of pesticides in agriculture has resulted in contamination of water resources,
air, soil and disruption of biogeochemical cycles. These compounds adversely affect humans and animal
health, helpful soil microbes and crop production as well. Biodegradation of pesticides by microbes
exists in a number of habitats like soil, sediments, surface, ground water, and sludge, etc. In the
present study, efforts were made to develop a microbial consortium comprising of Streptomyces albogriseolus
and Brevibacillus borstelensis strains isolated earlier which are capable of degrading carbendazim,
a benzimidazole fungicide and making it harmless. Both the strains Brevibacillus borstelensis
and Streptomyces albogriseolus displayed growth even at higher concentrations (500μg mL-1) of carbendazim. The consortium
containing Brevibacillus borstelensis and Streptomyces albogriseolus reduced carbendazim concentration from 30
µg mL-1 to 0.86 µg mL-1 (nearly 97%) in 12hrs to 0.60 µg mL-1 (~98%) in 20 hrs as determined by LCMS analysis. There
was a significant reduction observed in carbendazim concentration than reduction obtained when individual strain was
used. This study paves a way for further exploration of degradation mechanism at the genetic level to enhance the capability
of microorganisms in consortia.
Keywords: Carbendazim, Streptomyces albogriseolus, Brevibacillus borstelensis, biodegradation, bioremediation.
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