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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1985 Feb;49(2):429-33.

Degradation of the herbicide mecoprop [2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy)propionic Acid] by a synergistic microbial community.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, West Midlands, and Agricultural Research Council, Weed Research Organisation, Yarnton OX1 1PF, Oxford, United Kingdom.


A microbial community isolated from wheat root systems was capable of growth on mecoprop as the sole carbon and energy source. When exposed to fresh herbicide additions, the community was able to shorten the lag phase from 30 days to less than 24 h. The community comprised two Pseudomonas species, an Alcaligenes species, a Flavobacterium species, and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. None of the pure cultures was capable of growing on mecoprop. Certain combinations of two or more community constituents were required before growth commenced. The mecoprop-degrading community could also degrade 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid but not 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid.

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