Hairy Vetch Incorporated as Green Manure Inhibits Sulfathiazole Uptake by Lettuce in Soil

  • Jiff Randy Caban
  • Saranya Kuppusamy
  • Jang Hwan Kim
  • Young-Eun Yoon
  • Song Yeob Kim
  • Yong Bok Lee


Veterinary antibiotics like sulfonamides are frequently detected in arable lands and they can potentially contaminate food crops. It is thus of great importance to identify strategies to reduce food crops’ uptake of antibiotics. For the first time, using a pot culture experiment, sulfathiazole (STZ) uptake by lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown in antibiotic-contaminated soils (10 and 100 mg STZ kg−1 soil) and treated with (in)organic amendments, namely chemical fertilizer (NPK), compost, and hairy vetch, was investigated. Subsequent enhanced plant growth was witnessed when using hairy vetch treatment. The amount of antibiotic uptake was significantly reduced to 5 and 33% with hairy vetch application compared to compost or NPK application at 10 and 100 mg kg−1 STZ, respectively. The total amounts of accumulated STZ in plant parts increased as the levels of STZ contaminated in soils were increased. STZ was much more abundant in the roots than the leaves. Within 30 days, the extractable STZ in the treated soils—especially with hairy vetch—diminished considerably to concentrations that are frequently detected in arable soils. We conclude that utilization of green manure (cover crop—hairy vetch) is a viable strategy for safer crop production in antibiotic-contaminated soils.


Sulfonamides Plant accumulation Soil amendment NPK fertilizers Hairy vetch Compost 


Funding Information

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2017R1A2B4007092).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiff Randy Caban
    • 1
  • Saranya Kuppusamy
    • 2
  • Jang Hwan Kim
    • 1
  • Young-Eun Yoon
    • 1
  • Song Yeob Kim
    • 2
  • Yong Bok Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus)Gyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Institute of Agriculture and Life ScienceGyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea

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