, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 293–301 | Cite as

Atrazine degradation by aerobic microorganisms isolated from the rhizosphere of sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.)

  • Roman Marecik
  • Paweł Króliczak
  • Katarzyna Czaczyk
  • Wojciech Białas
  • Anna Olejnik
  • Paweł Cyplik
Original Paper


In presented study the capability of microorganisms isolated from the rhizosphere of sweet flag (Acorus calamus) to the atrazine degradation was assessed. Following isolation of the microorganisms counts of psychrophilic bacteria, mesophilic bacteria and fungi were determined. Isolated microorganisms were screened in terms of their ability to decompose a triazine herbicide, atrazine. Our results demonstrate that within the rhizosphere of sweet flag there were 3.8 × 107 cfu of psychrophilic bacteria, 1.8 × 107 cfu of mesophilic bacteria, and 6 × 105 cfu of fungi per 1 g of dry root mass. These microorganisms were represented by more than 20 different strains, and at the first step these strains were grown for 5 days in the presence of atrazine at a concentration of 5 mg/l. In terms of the effect of this trial culture, the bacteria reduced the level of atrazine by an average of about 2–20%, but the average level of reduction by fungi was in the range 18–60%. The most active strains involved in atrazine reduction were then selected and identified. These strains were classified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus megaterium, Rahnella aquatilis (three strains), Umbelopsis isabellina, Volutella ciliata and Botrytis cinerea. Culturing of the microorganisms for a longer time resulted in high atrazine degradation level. The highest degradation level was observed at atrazine concentrations of 5 mg/l for S. maltophilia (83.5% after 15 days of culture) and for Botrytis sp. (82% after 21 days of culture). Our results indicate that microorganisms of the sweet flag rhizosphere can play an important role in the bioremediation of atrazine-contaminated sites.


Atrazine Bioremediation Mesophilic bacteria Fungi Psychrophilic bacteria Rhizosphere microorganisms 



This study was supported by the State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN), Poland, under Grant No. 2 P04G08527.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roman Marecik
    • 1
  • Paweł Króliczak
    • 1
  • Katarzyna Czaczyk
    • 1
  • Wojciech Białas
    • 1
  • Anna Olejnik
    • 1
  • Paweł Cyplik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and Food MicrobiologyThe August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of PoznanPoznańPoland

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