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Pollution Induced Community Tolerance(PICT) of Microorganisms in Soil Incubated with Different Levels of PB

Authors: N. Aliasgharzad, A. Molaei, S. Oustan


Soil microbial activity is adversely affected by pollutants such as heavy metals, antibiotics and pesticides. Organic amendments including sewage sludge, municipal compost and vermicompost are recently used to improve soil structure and fertility. But, these materials contain heavy metals including Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni and Cu that are toxic to soil microorganisms and may lead to occurrence of more tolerant microbes. Among these, Pb is the most abundant and has more negative effect on soil microbial ecology. In this study, Pb levels of 0, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 mg Pb [as Pb(NO3)2] per kg soil were added to the pots containing 2 kg of a loamy soil and incubated for 6 months at 25°C with soil moisture of - 0.3 MPa. Dehydrogenase activity of soil as a measure of microbial activity was determined on 15, 30, 90 and 180 days after incubation. Triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) was used as an electron acceptor in this assay. PICTs (€IC50 values) were calculated for each Pb level and incubation time. Soil microbial activity was decreased by increasing Pb level during 30 days of incubation but the induced tolerance appeared on day 90 and thereafter. During 90 to 180 days of incubation, the PICT was gradually developed by increasing Pb level up to 200 mg kg-1, but the rate of enhancement was steeper at higher concentrations.

Keywords: Induced tolerance, soil microorganisms, Pb, PICT, pollutants.

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