Soil microbial response to glyphosate-base cotton pest management systems
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Currently, 74% of cotton acres in the United States are planted with glyphosatetolerant varieties. The average glyphosate-tolerant cotton crop is treated with glyphosate 2.1 times each year in addition to other herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. The primary objectives of this research were to: 1) describe the influence of glyphosate and pesticides commonly applied at or near the time of cotton planting on soil microbial activity and biomass; 2) study the effect of glyphosate on fluometuron degradation; 3) evaluate the response of Rhizoctonia solani to glyphosate and fluometuron; 4) study changes in glyphosate metabolism that occur as a result of repeated glyphosate applications; and 5) define shifts in the soil microbial community. Additionally, methods for accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) of fluometuron from soils were developed. In one experiment, the addition of glyphosate reduced C-mineralization in soils treated with fluometuron, aldicarb, or mefenoxam + PCNB formulations. However, in a second experiment, C-mineralization increased when glyphosate was applied with fluometuron relative to fluometuron applied alone. Accelerated solvent extraction was used in experiments which demonstrated that application of glyphosate with fluometuron increased the rate of fluometuron degradation in soil relative to fluometuron alone. When glyphosate was added to minimal medium, degradation of fluometuron by R. solani was reduced and less fungal biomass was produced. The total amount of 14C-glyphosate mineralized was reduced when glyphosate was applied 5 times relative to 1, 2, 3, or 4 times. Incorporation of 14Cglyphosate residues into soil microbial biomass was greater following five glyphosate applications than one application 3 and 7 days after application (DAA). Soil fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles were altered by five glyphosate applications relative to one application. Additionally, FAMEs common to gram-negative bacteria were present in higher concentrations following five applications relative to 1, 2, 3, or 4 applications both 7 and 14 DAA. These studies indicated that: 1) glyphosate altered the soil microbial response to other pesticides; 2) fluometuron-degrading microorganisms in soil responded differently to glyphosate; 3) changes in the dissipation or distribution of glyphosate following repeated glyphosate applications were associated with changes in the structural diversity of the soil microbial community.
soil microbial activity
fatty acid methyl ester
accelerated solvent extraction
soil microbial biomass
Lancaster, Sarah Renee (2008). Soil microbial response to glyphosate-base cotton pest management systems. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from