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Stimulation of soil microorganisms in pesticide-contaminated soil using organic materials

Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

Topical Section: Bioremediation of contaminated soil

Agrochemicals such as pesticides have contributed to significant increases in crop yields; however, they can also be linked to adverse effects on human health and soil microorganisms. For efficient bioremediation of pesticides accumulated in agricultural fields, stimulation of microorganisms is necessary. In this study, we investigated the relationships between bacterial biomass and total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN) in 427 agricultural soils. The soil bacterial biomass was generally positively correlated with TC and TN contents in the soil, but some soils had a low bacterial biomass despite containing high amounts of TC and TN. Soils of two fields (fields A and B) with low bacterial biomass but high TC and TN contents were investigated. Long-term pesticide use (dichloropropane-dichloropropene and fosthiazate in field A and chloropicrin in field B) appeared to have contributed to the low bacterial biomass observed in these soils. Soil from field A was treated with different organic materials and incubated for 1 month under laboratory conditions. The bacterial biomass in field A soil was enhanced in treatments containing organic materials rich in TN. Application of organic materials stimulated the growth of microorganisms with the potential to bioremediate pesticide-polluted soils.
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