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Isolation and Identification of Hexazinone-Degrading Bacterium from Sugarcane-Cultivated Soil in Kenya


The s-triazine herbicide hexazinone [3-cyclohexyl-6-dimethylamino-1-methyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4(1H,3H)-dione], is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Laboratory biodegradation experiments for hexazinone in liquid cultures were carried out using sugarcane-cultivated soils in Kenya. Liquid culture experiments with hexazinone as the only carbon source led to the isolation of a bacterial strain capable of its degradation. Through morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization by 16S rRNA, the isolate was identified as Enterobacter cloacae. The isolate degraded hexazinone up to 27.3 % of the initially applied concentration of 40 μg mL−1 after 37 days of incubation in a liquid culture medium. The study reports the degradation of hexazinone and characterization of the isolated bacterial strain.

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We thank the German Academic exchange (DAAD) for the financial support extended to the Anastasiah Ngigi and a study scholarship by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), Kenya, which enabled this study. We are also grateful to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for providing facilities and consumables for the study and Nzoia Sugar Company, the site of the study.

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Correspondence to Anastasiah Ngigi.

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Ngigi, A., Getenga, Z., Boga, H. et al. Isolation and Identification of Hexazinone-Degrading Bacterium from Sugarcane-Cultivated Soil in Kenya. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 92, 364–368 (2014).

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  • Hexazinone
  • Biodegradation
  • Herbicide
  • Liquid cultures
  • Enterobacter cloacae