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Pesticide Toxicity To Microorganisms: Exposure, Toxicity And Risk Assessment Methodologies
J. Stanley, G. Preetha
Published 2016 · Biology
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Microbes play a major role in medical technology, food processing, biotechnology, agriculture and many other fields. The major route of pesticide exposure to microbes in the environment is through soil application, spray drifts and dumping of pesticides in soil. Pesticides affecting microbial biomass, growth and respiration affecting the microbial community and diversity are well studied. The estimation of total biomass directly, perhaps includes the active and dormant microbes. Indirect biomass assessments by measuring microbial biomass carbon/nitrogen by fumigation method or through the estimation of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids are being explained. Estimation of soil respiration is the oldest but extensively used technique being done as basal and as substrate induced respiration. Pesticide toxicity on microbial activities especially of enzyme activities is well documented. Determination of soil enzymes through fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, functional richness as determined by carbon utilization pattern, structural diversity through phospholipid fatty acid profiling, genetic diversity through 16s rDNA analysis are commonly used to test the pesticide toxicity. Cultivation independent methods mostly relay on DNA sequencing, proteomics and metabolomics studies. Methodologies for mesocosm or semifield and field experiments are also explained and discussed. Though microbes are responsible for many ecosystem services, soil ecotoxicological risk assessment guidelines do not consider microbes as assessment end points. Unlike other groups, risk assessment procedures for microbes are neither extensively used nor well developed. Risk assessment by studying the microbial activities by giving weightage to important activities, multi-tiered risk assessment approach, comparison with beneficial and harmful microbial susceptibility to pesticides and assessing hazardous concentration are discussed.
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