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The effect of soil:water ratios on the induction of isoproturon, cypermethrin and diazinon mineralisation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/01/2011
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish


The rate of pesticide biodegradation does not remain constant with time, and is dependent on the physico-chemical properties of the soil and of the pesticide as well as on the biology of the soil. Prolonged or repeated contact between soil microbes and pesticides has been shown to result in an increase in the rate and extent of biodegradation. This work assessed the impact of the soil:water ratio on measurement of catabolic induction for ¹⁴C-isoproturon, ¹⁴C-diazinon and ¹⁴C-cypermethrin. Slurrying (1:1 and 1:3 soil:water) with agitation resulted in significantly higher rates and extents of mineralisation than the non-slurried system (P ≤ 0.05; 1:0 soil:water), except for the mineralisation of ¹⁴C-diazinon where the greatest extent of mineralisation occurred in non-slurried soil. Slurrying without agitation resulted in the significant lower mineralisation in all cases (P ≤ 0.05). There was a significant interaction between the soil:water ratio and length of contact (P ≤ 0.05). Whilst the use of slurried systems can enhance the extent and rate of mineralisation, there is no improvement in reproducibility, and so for the measurement of catabolic induction, the use of field conditions will lead to a more environmentally relevant measurement.