Researchers at the Ohio State University have isolated a pure bacterial culture, designated herein as M91-3, which rapidly degrades certain s-triazines, particularly halogenated s-triazines. S-triazines are compounds are a family of herbicides that is extensively used for weed control in corn and other crops, but the widespread use of s-triazines has resulted in contamination of water resources above safe levels. S-triazine has been targeted for removal at sites that exceed EPA guidelines, but traditional methods of treatment involve either spreading thin layer of contaminated soil on top of a large area of healthy soil, which limits the use of the existing healthy soil, or costly excavation and incineration of contaminated soil. As a result, an inexpensive and fast method of safely degrading s-triazines in-situ is highly desirable.
The M91-3 degrades s-triazines, particularly atrazine, beyond the point of ring cleavage, leading to complete mineralization of the atrazine. The ability of M91-3 to completely degrade atrazine appears to be unique among bacteria. The M91-3 is capable of degrading s-triazine in solution and in presence of soil or sediment. The invention also relates to a method for degrading s-triazines, particularly atrazine.
Treatment of sites with high s-triazine levels
- Inexpensive; doesn’t involve excavation
- Does not use up currently healthy soil