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Isolation and characterization of atrazine-degrading Arthrobacter sp. strains from Argentine agricultural soils

Fernández, Leticia Andrea, Valverde, Claudio, Gómez, Marisa Anahí
Annals of microbiology 2013 v.63 no.1 pp. 207-214
Arthrobacter, Gram-positive bacteria, Pseudomonas, agricultural soils, atrazine, biodegradation, bioremediation, carbon, corn, enrichment culture, genes, high performance liquid chromatography, nitrogen, nucleotide sequences, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, sodium citrate, sucrose, weed control, Argentina
Three bacterial strains capable of degrading atrazine were isolated from Manfredi soils (Argentine) using enrichment culture techniques. These soils were used to grow corn and were treated with atrazine for weed control during 3 years. The strains were nonmotile Gram-positive bacilli which formed cleared zones on atrazine solid medium, and the 16S rDNA sequences indicated that they were Arthrobacter sp. strains. The atrazine-degrading activity of the isolates was characterized by the ability to grow with atrazine as the sole nitrogen source, the concomitant herbicide disappearance, and the chloride release. The atrazine-degrader strain Pseudomonas sp. ADP was used for comparative purposes. According to the results, all of the isolates used atrazine as sole source of nitrogen, and sucrose and sodium citrate as the carbon sources for growth. HPLC analyses confirmed herbicide clearance. PCR analysis revealed the presence of the atrazine catabolic genes trzN, atzB, and atzC. The results of this work lead to a better understanding of microbial degradation activity in order to consider the potential application of the isolated strains in bioremediation of atrazine-polluted agricultural soils in Argentina.