Comparative study of bacterial community dynamics in different soils following application of the herbicide atrazine

Kusum Dhakar, Shlomit Medina, Hamam Ziadna, Karam Igbaria, Guy Achdari, Ran Lati, Raphy Zarecki, Zeev Ronen, Guy Dovrat, Hanan Eizenberg, Shiri Freilich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbial communities in cultivated soils control the fate of pollutants associated with agricultural practice. The present study was designed to explore the response of bacterial communities to the application of the widely-used herbicide atrazine in three different crop fields that differ significantly in their physicochemical structure and nutritional content: the nutrient-rich (with relatively high carbon and nitrogen content) Newe Yaar (NY) and Ha-Ogen (HO) soils and the nutrient-poor, sandy Sde-Eliyahu (SE) soil. The 16 S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed the nutrient poor HO soil differs in its response to atrazine in comparison to the two nutrient-rich soils both in the shortest persistence of atrazine and its effect on community structure and composition. Potential reported bacterial degraders of atrazine such as Pseudomonas, Clostridium and Bacillus were more abundant in contaminated sandy/poor soils (HO) whereas bacteria known for nitrogen cycling such as Azospirillum, Sinorhizobium, Nitrospira and Azohydromonas were significantly more abundant in the nutrient rich contaminated SE soils. No significant increase of potential indigenous degrader Arthrobacter was detected in SE and NY soils whereas a significant increase was recorded with HO soils. An overall shift in bacterial community composition following atrazine application was observed only in the nutrient poor soil. Understanding atrazine persistence and microbiome response to its application of in dependence with soil types serve the design of precision application strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number115189
Pages (from-to)115189
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing
  • Atrazine
  • Atrazine/toxicity
  • Bacteria/genetics
  • Bacterial community
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Herbicides/toxicity
  • Nitrogen
  • Sand
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil Pollutants/toxicity
  • Soil/chemistry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Biochemistry


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