Effects of a sulfonylurea herbicide on the soil bacterial community
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Sulfonylurea herbicides are widely used on a wide range of crops to control weeds. Chevalier® OnePass herbicide is a sulfonylurea herbicide intensively used on cereal crops in Algeria. No information is yet available about the biodegradation of this herbicide or about its effect on the bacterial community of the soil. In this study, we collected an untreated soil sample, and another sample was collected 1 month after treatment with the herbicide. Using a high-resolution melting DNA technique, we have shown that treatment with Chevalier® OnePass herbicide only slightly changed the composition of the whole bacterial community. Two hundred fifty-nine macroscopically different clones were isolated from the untreated and treated soil under both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The strains were identified by sequencing a conserved fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. The phylogenetic trees constructed using the sequencing results confirmed that the bacterial populations were similar in the two soil samples. Species belonging to the Lysinibacillus, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Paenibacillus genera were the most abundant species found. Surprisingly, we found that among ten strains isolated from the treated soil, only six were resistant to the herbicide. Furthermore, bacterial overlay experiments showed that only one resistant strain (related to Stenotrophomonas maltophilia) allowed all the sensitive strains tested to grow in the presence of the herbicide. The other resistant strains allowed only certain sensitive strains to grow. On the basis of these results, we propose that there must be several biodegradation pathways for this sulfonylurea herbicide.
KeywordsSulfonylurea Chevalier® OnePass herbicide Soil bacterial community 16S rDNA Herbicide resistance High-resolution melting DNA Bacterial overlay cultures
We would like to thank A. Rouabah for his help in the soil sample collection and V. Michotey for supplying the oceanic metagenome. We are grateful to M. Ilbert, C. Aussignargues, and S. Bouillet for the valuable suggestions and discussions. Monika Gosh is acknowledged for improving the English version of the manuscript. This work is funded by the Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Université Constantine 1 (Algeria), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and the Aix-Marseille Université (France).
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