Cyanobacterial Degradation of Organophosphorus Pesticides

  • Nimisha Vijayan P
  • Sabu Abdulhameed
Part of the Applied Environmental Science and Engineering for a Sustainable Future book series (AESE)


Pesticides are chemicals which are widely used for the protection of crops from the attack of pathogens. Pesticides include fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, and bactericides. Among the different classes of pesticides used, organophosphorus class of pesticides is commonly used for agricultural applications. Indiscriminate use of such chemicals causes many environmental problems. It also poses high risk to other organisms such as birds, fishes, other beneficial insects, and humans. So it is highly desirable to remove these harmful chemicals from the environment in a proper way. Biodegradation is one of the best available methods and is the breakdown of toxic chemicals into nontoxic compounds through the use of microorganisms. It is a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and efficient method for the detoxification of pesticides. Different microorganisms are involved in the biodegradation process such as bacteria, fungi, and cyanobacteria. Among these organisms, cyanobacteria play an important role in the degradation of pesticides. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats. They are photoautotrophic organisms and hence the use of cyanobacteria for degradation process would overcome the need to supply heterotrophs with organic nutrients. Studies have proved the efficiency of cyanobacteria in the degradation of organophosphorus pesticides. The widespread appearance of cyanobacteria in the polluted area is also a contributing factor for making them a better candidate for biodegradation.


Pesticides Organophosphorus pesticides Biodegradation Microorganisms Cyanobacteria 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nimisha Vijayan P
    • 1
  • Sabu Abdulhameed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and MicrobiologyKannur UniversityKannurIndia

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