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Open Access Research article

Biodegradation of alachlor in liquid and soil cultures under variable carbon and nitrogen sources by bacterial consortium isolated from corn field soil

Mansooreh Dehghani1*, Simin Nasseri2 and Zahra Zamanian3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, and Center for Water Quality Research, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2013, 10:21  doi:10.1186/1735-2746-10-21

Published: 1 March 2013

Abstract

Alachlor, an aniline herbicide widely used in corn production, is frequently detected in water resources. The main objectives of this research were focused on isolating bacterial consortium capable of alachlor biodegradation, assessing the effects of carbon and nitrogen sources on alachlor biodegradation and evaluating the feasibility of using bacterial consortium in soil culture. Kavar corn field soil with a long history of alachlor application in Fars province of Iran has been explored for their potential of alachlor biodegradation. The influence of different carbon compounds (glucose, sodium citrate, sucrose, starch and the combination of these compounds), the effect of nitrogen sources (ammonium nitrate and urea) and different pH (5.5-8.5) on alachlor removal efficiency by the bacterial consortium in liquid culture were investigated. After a multi-step enrichment program 100 days of acclimation, a culture with the high capability of alachlor degradation was obtained (63%). Glucose and sodium citrate had the highest alachlor reduction rate (85%). Alachlor reduction rate increased more rapidly by the addition of ammonium nitrate (94%) compare to urea. Based on the data obtained in the present study, pH of 7.5 is optimal for alachlor biodegradation. After 30 days of incubation, the percent of alachlor reduction were significantly enhanced in the inoculated soils (74%) as compared to uninoculated control soils (17.67%) at the soil moisture content of 25%. In conclusion, bioaugmentation of soil with bacterial consortium may enhance the rate of alachlor degradation in a polluted soil.

Keywords:
Alachlor; Biodegradation; Carbon sources; Fars; Nitrogen sources; Mixed bacterial consortium