Main content area

Minimal pesticide-primed soil inoculum density to secure maximum pesticide degradation efficiency in on-farm biopurification systems

Sniegowski, Kristel, Bers, Karolien, Ryckeboer, Jaak, Jaeken, Peter, Spanoghe, Pieter, Springael, Dirk
Chemosphere 2012 v.88 no.9 pp. 1114-1118
bacteria, bioaugmentation, biofilters, evolution, farms, inoculum density, linuron, microbial communities, mineralization, soil, wastewater, water pollution
Addition of pesticide-primed soil containing adapted pesticide degrading bacteria to the biofilter matrix of on farm biopurification systems (BPS) which treat pesticide contaminated wastewater, has been recommended, in order to ensure rapid establishment of a pesticide degrading microbial community in BPS. However, uncertainties exist about the minimal soil inoculum density needed for successful bioaugmentation of BPS. Therefore, in this study, BPS microcosm experiments were initiated with different linuron primed soil inoculum densities ranging from 0.5 to 50vol.% and the evolution of the linuron mineralization capacity in the microcosms was monitored during feeding with linuron. Successful establishment of a linuron mineralization community in the BPS microcosms was achieved with all inoculum densities including the 0.5vol.% density with only minor differences in the time needed to acquire maximum degradation capacity. Moreover, once established, the robustness of the linuron degrading microbial community towards expected stress situations proved to be independent of the initial inoculum density. This study shows that pesticide-primed soil inoculum densities as low as 0.5vol.% can be used for bioaugmentation of a BPS matrix and further supports the use of BPS for treatment of pesticide-contaminated wastewater at farmyards.