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Methodology in Accelerated Biodegradation of Herbicides

  • Ravva V. Subba-Rao (a1), Thomas H. Cromartie (a1) and Reed A. Gray (a2)


Accelerated biodegradation of herbicides in soils can be demonstrated in the laboratory either by treating soil samples with a herbicide under conditions favorable for microbial growth or by sampling field soils soon after herbicidal treatment. Quantitative measurement of accelerated degradation of thiocarbamates in field soils is complicated by the difficulty both of obtaining a proper untreated soil and of obtaining a representative sample by proper mixing of treated soil. Both bacteria and fungi degrade thiocarbamate herbicides, and examples of either class of organisms can be isolated by suitable selection and enrichment conditions. The enzymes involved in the initial steps of thiocarbamate biodegradation seem labile and have not been characterized. Studies of accelerated biodegradation of pesticides should measure the disappearance of the parent or active herbicide using chemical analyses or bioassays. Measuring accelerated biodegradation by determining metabolites (including CO2) is complicated by potential formation of other products, by incorporation of radioactivity into soil microflora, and by complex kinetics partly due to co-metabolism of the herbicide. Additional index words: EPTC, butylate.



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Methodology in Accelerated Biodegradation of Herbicides

  • Ravva V. Subba-Rao (a1), Thomas H. Cromartie (a1) and Reed A. Gray (a2)


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