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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research

Title: Biostimulation for the enhanced degradation of herbicides in soil

item Kannisery, Ramdas Gopinath
item Sims, Gerald

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2011
Publication Date: 8/1/2011
Citation: Kannisery, R., Sims, G.K. 2011. Biostimulation for the enhanced degradation of herbicides in soil. Applied and Environmental Soil Science. Article ID 843450. DOI:10.1155/2011/843450

Interpretive Summary: Herbicides are group of organic compounds that possess far reaching environmental consequences when persistent in the soil. Microorganisms are capable of degrading herbicides in the soil by utilizing them as a supply of nutrients and energy. However, lack of organic matter and nutrients in the soil can hinder microbial activity and induce a lag phase in the mineralization of herbicide contaminant. Biostimulation, through the application of organic amendments and nutrients into the soil can overcome these inhibitions and accelerate the removal of herbicides from the soil. Successful degradation of herbicides in soil necessitates deep insight into the thermodynamic processes occurring during their microbial consumption, consecutively applying the information towards the judicious use of electron donors and acceptors for the effective stimulation of microbial activity. Although it requires extensive field evaluation studies, biostimulation in conjunction with other bioremediation tools is definitely a promising technique for the removal of herbicide wastes from the soil. The impact of this analysis of the published information on biostimulation will aid in planning remediation strategies for protecting the environment from herbicide contamination and the concomitant side effects.

Technical Abstract: Cleanup of herbicide contaminated soils has been a dire environmental concern since the advent of industrial era. Although microorganisms are excellent degraders of herbicide compounds in the soil, some reparation may need to be brought about, in order to stimulate them to degrade the herbicide at a faster rate in a confined time frame. ‘Biostimulation’ through the appropriate utilization of organic amendments and nutrients can accelerate the degradation of herbicides in the soil. However, effective use of biostimulants requires thorough comprehension of the global redox-cycle during the microbial degradation of the herbicide molecules in the soil. In this review, we present the prospects of using biostimulation as a powerful remediation strategy for the rapid cleanup of herbicide polluted soils.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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