Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Efficient Management and Use of Animal Manure to Protect Human Health and Environmental Quality

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Utilization of poultry litter for pesticide bioremediation

Authors
item Lovanh, Nanh
item Ruiz-Aguilar, Graciela -
item Rothrock, Michael
item Cook, Kimberly

Submitted to: Applied Research in Animal Manure Management: Challenges and Opportunities beyond the Adverse Environmental Impacts
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 21, 2011
Publication Date: February 10, 2012
Citation: Lovanh, N.C., Ruiz-Aguilar, G., Rothrock Jr, M.J., Cook, K.L. 2012. Utilization of poultry litter for pesticide bioremediation. Applied Research in Animal Manure Management: Challenges and Opportunities beyond the Adverse Environmental Impacts. 11:285-296.

Interpretive Summary: In recent years, pesticides have become an important environmental issue due to their wild spread uncontrolled use. Chemical products such as pesticides have been used to increase crop production, especially in undeveloped countries. Agricultural pesticides use raises a number of environmental concerns. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target organisms, including non-target organisms such as air, water, soil, and food supplies. Pesticides are one of the causes of water pollution and they are persistent organic chemicals which contribute to soil contamination. Studies have shown that chemical pesticides linger in the atmosphere, the ground, and in waterways long after they have ceased to be used in a given area. The utilization of poultry litter to improve soil quality for crop production is a good alternative to reduce chemical application and minimize cost in agricultural settings. Poultry litter consists of essential nutrients or food sources for plant growth. Poultry litter could also provide native microorganisms which may be useful in breaking down environmental pollutants. However, the presence of these poultry litter microorganisms may hinder the fungal growth that is necessary to degrade pesticides in the contaminated soil. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the process of utilizing poultry litter for fungal growth to reduce pesticide content and enhance soil quality in the presence of native microorganisms. The goal of this study is to determine whether poultry litter could be utilized to support fungal and microbial growth in a mixture of pesticides. The results showed that poultry litter was able to enhance fungal growth better than vitamins in the presence of pesticide mixture. Therefore, poultry litter can serve as growth substrate for fungal growth and provide additional capable microflora for pesticide bioremediation. This can reduce cost quite substantially when replacing the required vitamins for growth with poultry litter at contaminated sites or treatment systems such as barrier walls.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural chemical products such as pesticides have been used to increase crop production, especially in undeveloped countries. Poultry litter, the combination of feces and bedding materials, has also been used as an alternative to improve soil quality for crop production. However, information regarding the utilization of poultry litter as growth substrate for bioremediation of synthetic chemicals used in agriculture is very limited. In this chapter, the potential benefit of utilizing poultry litter as a growth substrate for fungal growth (as well as bacterial source) in bioremediation of pesticides will be explored. Thus, the effect of pesticides on microbial population (from poultry litter) and the fungal growth will be examined. In addition, in this chapter a comparison of treatments (biostimulations) from poultry litter versus synthetic vitamin substrates in enhancing microbial population and fungal growth in the presence of pesticide mixture in a controlled-lab setting will be detailed. Specifically, this chapter will explore the effect of a mixture of pesticides on poultry litter microflora and a fungus (Trametes versicolor CDBB-H-1051) that is known to be able to degrade pesticides. The results will show that poultry litter was able to enhance fungal growth better than vitamins in the presence of pesticide mixture. Therefore, poultry litter can serve as growth substrate for fungal growth and provide additional capable microflora for pesticide bioremediation. This can reduce cost quite substantially when replacing the required vitamins for growth with poultry litter at contaminated sites or treatment systems such as barrier walls.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page