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Microbial degradation of pesticides in soil (prev. PS0408) - PL0508

Pesticides have long been applied to soil to control insect pests, soil-borne pathogens and weeds. To be effective many of these treatments need ;to be reasonably persistent. Recently the performance of some insecticides, fungicides and herbicides has been unsatisfactory because of a lack of adequate persistence following repeated applications. This phenomenon is known as accelerated or enhanced degradation and is of microbial origin.

(a) Continue to isolate micro-organisms capable of pesticide degradation and to establish a collection of characterised strains capable of degrading a range of chemically different pesticides (1994-97).
(b) Develop methods for rapid characterisation, comparison and identification of isolates, eg using PAGE profiles (1994-95).
(c) Develop rapid methods for the enumeration of organisms with the capability to degrade pesticides and investigate methods to assess microbial diversity (1994-96).
(d) Examine the effects of physical and nutrient conditions on the microbial degradation of pesticides (1995-97).
(e) Examine factors which might influence the stability of microbial populations with the capability to degrade pesticides eg the relationship between numbers and diversity (1995-97).
(f) Compare the effectiveness of different microorganisms as inocula for bioremediation/waste disposal systems (1996-97).
(g) Begin work on a batch-fed fermenter system to degrade waste pesticides by initially using a simple system ie single pesticide/isolate combinations (1996-97).
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1997

Cost: £304,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Arable Farming              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety