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Monitoring of atrazine treatment on soil bacterial, fungal and atrazine-degrading communities by quantitative competitive PCR

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We report the development of quantitative competitive (QC) PCR assays for quantifying the 16S, 18S ribosomal and atzC genes in nucleic acids directly extracted from soil. QC-PCR assays were standardised, calibrated and evaluated with an experimental study aiming to evaluate the impact of atrazine application on soil microflora. Comparison of QC-PCR 16S and 18S results with those of soil microbial biomass showed that, following atrazine application, the microbial biomass was not affected and that the amount of 16S rDNA gene representing ‘bacteria’ increased transitorily, while the amount of 18S rDNA gene representing fungi decreased in soil. In addition, comparison of atzC QC-PCR results with those of atrazine mineralisation revealed that, in response to atrazine treatment, the amount of atzC gene increased transitorily in soil pre-treated with atrazine, suggesting that accelerated atrazine biodegradation in soil could be due to a transient increase in the size of the atrazine mineralising community.

© 2003 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: 16S rDNA gene; 18S rDNA gene; QC-PCR; atrazine; atzC gene

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: *

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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