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Int Microbiol. 2007 Sep;10(3):209-15.

Analysis of s-triazine-degrading microbial communities in soils using most-probable-number enumeration and tetrazolium-salt detection.

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Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Environmental Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry & Millennium Nucleus of Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Technical University Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile.


A simple and sensitive method for the detection and enumeration of microbial s-triazine-degrading microorganisms in soil was designed. The procedure is based on the ability of some microbes to use s-triazines, such as simazine, atrazine, and cyanuric acid, as sole nitrogen source. It employs the respiration indicator 2,3,5-triphenyl-2H-tetrazolium chloride (TTC) to detect metabolic activity and the most-probable-number (MPN) enumeration in microtiter plates. The method was used to identify simazine- and cyanuric acid-degrading activities in agricultural soils treated with the herbicide simazine. The MPN-TTC method showed that the number of simazine- and cyanuric acid-degrading microorganisms increased four weeks after the herbicide simazine had been applied.

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