Microorganisms isolated from polluted urban soils highly effectives in degrading recalcitrant pesticides


  • Liliana Rocío Botero-Botero University of Medellin
  • Sergio Augusto Upegui-Sosa University of Medellin
  • Gustavo Antonio Peñuela-Mesa University of Antioquia




bioremediation, chlorpyrifos, malathion, Moravia soil, organophosphorus pesticides, methyl parathion


Between 1972 and 1984 all types of solid waste from the city of Medellin were deposited  in  an  area  which  had  no  technical  specification  as  a  landfill.  Domestic,  hospital  and  industrial  waste  was  deposited,  and  accumulated  to  form  a  mountain  of  waste  more  than 10 meters high. To exacerbate the problem, when the site was closed for the deposit of solid waste, people remained living there to recycle materials. A study funded by the Valle de  Aburrá  Metropolitan  Area  and  carried  out  by  the  GDCON  Group  at  the  Universidad  de  Antioquia  between  2004  and  2005  found  that  leachate  from  the  rubbish  dump  of  Moravia  contained heavy metals, phenols, sulphides, benzene, toluene, xylene, etc. In another study carried out by the GDCON and National University of Colombia (Medellín) between 2007 and 2009, it was found that plants and animals (mice, cockroaches etc.) in Moravia also contained these  toxic  pollutants.  For  this  reason,  the  government  of  Medellin  decided  to  move  the  people  living  in  Moravia  to  another  site  in  Medellin  (between  2010  and  2014).  Microbial  consortia isolated from Moravia soils (MS) showed a high capacity to degrade chlorpyrifos, methyl  parathion  and  malathion  pesticides  (20,  30  and  130  mg  Kg-1).  To  provide  a  point  of  comparison, the degradation of the 3 pesticides was also performed with isolated pools of immature  compost.  The  MS  microbial  consortia  showed  higher  degradation  rates  than  CI  microbial consortia howed higher degradation rates than CI microbial consortia when malathion, methyl parathion and chlorpyrifos were degraded.

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Author Biographies

Liliana Rocío Botero-Botero, University of Medellin

Professor Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Bioengineering Research Group (GRINBIO).

Sergio Augusto Upegui-Sosa, University of Medellin

Environmental Research and Measurement Group (GEMA).

Gustavo Antonio Peñuela-Mesa, University of Antioquia

Pollution Diagnosis and Control Research Group (GDCON), Faculty of Engineering, Professor.


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How to Cite

Botero-Botero, L. R., Upegui-Sosa, S. A., & Peñuela-Mesa, G. A. (2016). Microorganisms isolated from polluted urban soils highly effectives in degrading recalcitrant pesticides. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (81), 102–107. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.redin.n81a10

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