Successive soil treatment with captan or oxytetracycline affects non-target microorganisms

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Changes in microbial biomass and activity were determined in a sandy-loam soil treated with successive dosages of oxytetracycline (a bactericide) or captan (a fungicide) throughout 98 days of incubation under laboratory conditions. The numbers of culturable bacteria and fungi, total bacterial and fungal biomass (as amounts of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA), the fungal/bacterial ratio, activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases and urease as well as concentrations of N-NH4+ and N-NO3− were assessed. Both oxytetracycline and captan significantly decreased numbers of culturable bacteria whereas total bacterial biomass (bactPLFA) was not affected. Oxytetracycline did not effect on the fungal biomass, however their numbers were reduced after the first and second time of soil amendment with the bactericide. Conversely, fungal numbers and biomass (PLFA 18:2ω6,9) significantly decreased in response to soil treatment with the fungicide. Compared to oxytetracycline, captan significantly decreased activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases. For urease activity, the decreased activity was only observed in the soil after the third dosage of captan. Both biocides significantly increased concentrations of N-NH4+ and decreased concentrations of N-NO3− after the soil treatments. The results of this study indicate that successive soil treatment with oxytetracycline or captan dosages may negatively affect non-target soil microorganisms and their activities.

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