Isolation and characterization of novel atrazine-degrading microorganisms from an agricultural soil

Laurel L. Vibber, Michael J. Pressler, Gregory M. Colores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Six previously undescribed microorganisms capable of atrazine degradation were isolated from an agricultural soil that received repeated exposures of the commonly used herbicides atrazine and acetochlor. These isolates are all Gram-positive and group with microorganisms in the genera Nocardioides and Arthrobacter, both of which contain previously described atrazine degraders. All six isolates were capable of utilizing atrazine as a sole nitrogen source when provided with glucose as a separate carbon source. Under the culture conditions used, none of the isolates could utilize atrazine as the sole carbon and nitrogen source. We used several polymerase-chain-reaction-based assays to screen for the presence of a number of atrazine-degrading genes and verified their identity through sequencing. All six isolates contain trzN and atzC, two well-characterized genes involved in the conversion of atrazine to cyanuric acid. An additional atrazine-degrading gene, atzB, was detected in one of the isolates as well, yet none appeared to contain atzA, a commonly encountered gene in atrazine impacted soils and atrazine-degrading isolates. Interestingly, the deoxyribonucleic acid sequences of trzN and atzC were all identical, implying that their presence may be the result of horizontal gene transfer among these isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-928
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Arthrobacter
  • Atrazine
  • AtzA
  • AtzC
  • Nocardioides
  • TrzN


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and characterization of novel atrazine-degrading microorganisms from an agricultural soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this