Effects of Metam Sodium on Soil Microbial Communities: Numbers, Activity, and Diversity
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 15-Sep-2017
AbstractMetam sodium is a fumigant often used as a crop pretreatment in agriculture to control a wide array of pests that may inhibit plant yields. Previously, there have only been limited studies conducted on the effects of metam sodium on native soil microbial communities and plant pathogens, and results have been inconsistent. This present study utilized control and metam sodium-treated field plots to examine the effects of metam sodium on soil microbes in terms of numbers, activity, and diversity. Metam sodium did not cause significant changes in culturable heterotrophic numbers, as shown by heterotrophic plate counts, but may have adversely affected non-culturable microbes since metam sodium did affect microbial activity. Specifically, the LuminUltra® and dehydrogenase activity assays both showed a significant decrease in total activity in treated plots one day after soil treatment, with a return to pre-application conditions within seven days. Illumina Next-Generation Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene showed slight changes in richness and community composition throughout the 28-day study, but initial and final communities were similar in both control and treated soils. Overall, some soil microbes were adversely affected by metam sodium, but the resilience of the soil microbial community allowed for an apparent rapid recovery in terms of numbers, activity, and diversity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science