Impact of Acephate and Buprofezin on Soil Cellulases
Cellulases are one of several enzymes produced chiefly by fungi, bacteria and protozoans. These important enzymes degrade cellulose and some related polysaccharides in soil, and are directly involved in the cycling of carbon compounds in soil. These enzymes are highly sensitive to anthropogenic factors such as pesticides thereby the soil fertility is greatly affected. Several insecticides, fungicides and herbicides have been assessed to understand their effects on soil cellulases. In most of these studies, it has been found that soil cellulases were greatly affected by the pesticides. The influence of two selected insecticides, acephate and buprofezin, on soil cellulases is presented in detail in this chapter. Lab experiments were conducted with soil samples treated once, twice or thrice with a single or two insecticides together with N-P-K amendments. Even though cellulase activities were stimulated at lower concentrations (2.5–7.5 μg g−1) of a single application of either acephate or buprofezin, the activities were adversely affected at higher concentrations (10 μg g−1) or after three application of an insecticide. The response of the enzyme activities was similar even in soil samples amended with N-P-K. Interaction of the two selected insecticides, at concentrations above 5 μg g−1 soil of acephate or buprofezin, or in combination at graded concentrations of 0–10 μg g−1 soil, resulted in antagonistic effect towards the enzyme activity. Our findings on single or repeated applications of acephate or buprofezin clearly indicate that cellulases are highly sensitive to soil pollution through insecticide use in agriculture. Also, these observations suggest that indiscriminate use of acephate and buprofezin, at higher rates but not at field applications doses, is deleterious to cellulases in soils.
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