Molecular Method as Effort to Understand Pesticide Degrading Microbial Community

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

Pesticide contains chemicals that can upset the balance of the ecosystem. Moreover, if pesticide enters the body of living things, it can disrupt the metabolic processes.

Pesticide contains chemicals that can upset the balance of the ecosystem. Moreover, if pesticide enters the body of living things, it can disrupt the metabolic processes.

For this reason, a lecturer of Faculty of Science and Technology Almando Geraldi, S.Si., Ph.D conducted a study on microorganisms that could decompose pollutants in pesticide. The lecturer known as Gerry was supported by his student Aken Puti Wanguyun to complete the research.

“One way to improve the environment contaminated with pesticide is with microorganisms existing in the environment. These microorganisms can decompose pollutants into safer materials for living things (non-toxic), through a process called biodegradation process, “said Gerry.

Many studies have identified the entire community of microorganisms in the environment through conventional methods. However, he said, in practice, there were still many obstacles due to the complex needs of microorganisms. The limitations of conventional methods can be overcome by the existence of modern molecular methods.

Furthermore, he also said that identification of microorganisms by molecular methods is based on the identification of genetic material of microorganisms. Some molecular analysis techniques that have been available are proven to be more effective and efficient in identifying the composition of microorganisms and knowing its ability in the biodegradation process of a sample taken in a polluted environment.

“In this study, we highlight efficient technologies for analyzing microbial communities associated with the degradation of bio-pesticide in the environment. The combination of various molecular techniques in the analysis of microbial communities is expected to be useful to improve our understanding on microorganism-related environments, “he stated.

Some molecular methods that are popular today, he explained, include Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE),  Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization  (FISH),  clone libraries,  Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism  (TRFLP),  quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction  (qPCR), and sequencing. Because each method has certain specifications, the selection of molecular method is adjusted with the objective of microorganism identification from an environment.

In the end, he explained that the character possessed by certain compounds make types of microbes that could decipher them also varied. It is evidenced by the discovery of genyang in microorganism producing enzymes to decompose a compound.

“Important molecular methods are important to be applied in modern research. The information can later be used as an effort to optimize the biodegradation process naturally, this is one of the objectives of this research, ” he concluded.

Author: Dian Putri Apriliani

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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