Study claims bacteria found in Dal Lake can eliminate pesticide

SRINAGAR: A team of researchers from SKUAST K and few other universities have found two types of bacteria mainly in the Dal Lake, which they said can help eliminate a certain pesticide from the environment.
The research team included Imtiyaz Murtaza, Bushra, Sageera Showkat, Omi Laila, Sumra Majid and Neyiaz A. Dar from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K), Shah Ubaid-Ullah from Central University of Kashmir, Mukhtar Ahmad from RCRQ Laboratory, SKUAST-K) and Girish Sharma from Amity University, Noida.
One of the researchers, Shah Ubaid-Ullah, who at present is an associate professor at Government Degree College Baramulla, told Kashmir Reader that two bacteria E. Coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens have been found inside the Dal lake and in orchards. These, he said, can eliminate Chloropyrifos, a pesticide that causes brain tumours and nerve damage. Though the study has not elaborated on the amount of the pesticide found in human bodies, but, said that the presence could be reduced by the growth of the two types of bacteria.
“The pesticide comes into human beings and fish through food chain. It is established that it can cause brain tumours and nerve problems, but, we are yet to identify its presence in human bodies in Kashmir. But it is for sure that the bacteria can eliminate it,” he added.
He said once these bacteria are grown, it can be used to eliminate pollutants from air too. The research has been done for one year from 2015 to 2016. It took the researchers two years to get the study published in the journal, Current Science.
Now, he said, the group is planning is expand the work for which they would apply for funding, “though it is not necessary that it can only be carried only when funding is done”. Earlier part of the research was self funded.
He said he maximum number of chloropyrifos degrading E.Coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria were found in Dal Lake and Ganderbal soil, because of incessant use of chemical in these areas. Besides, higher chloropyrifos pesticide residual levels have been reported in both fish as well as human blood samples of local inhabitants of Dal Lake.