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Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-8913

Abstract

SENE, Luciane; CONVERTI, Attilio; SECCHI, Geslaine Aparecida Ribeiro  and  SIMAO, Rita de Cássia Garcia. New aspects on atrazine biodegradation. Braz. arch. biol. technol. [online]. 2010, vol.53, n.2, pp. 487-496. ISSN 1516-8913.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-89132010000200030.

The world practice of using agrochemicals for long periods, in an indiscriminated and abusive way, has been a concern of the authorities involved in public health and sustainability of the natural resources, as a consequence of environmental contamination. Agrochemicals refer to a broad range of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, and among them stands out atrazine, a herbicide intensively used in sugarcane, corn and sorghum cultures, among others. Researches have demonstrated that atrazine has toxic effects in algae, aquatic plants, aquatic insects, fishes and mammals. Due to the toxicity and persistence of atrazine in the environment, the search of microbial strains capable of degrading it is fundamental to the development of bioremediation processes, as corrective tools to solve the current problems of the irrational use of agrochemicals. This review relates the main microbial aspects and research on atrazine degradation by isolated microbial species and microbial consortia, as well as approaches on the development of techniques for microbial removal of atrazine in natural environments.

Keywords : atrazine; biodegradation; bacteria; fungi; microbial consortium.

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