Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Kennedy Gauger


The production and use of synthetic chemicals for pesticide control increased dramatically after World War II. They were found to be highly effective, cheap to produce and easy to apply. Development of these chemicals has been one of the major developments for agriculture. In the 1970's public health risks and environmental damage caused by agricultural chemicals was recognized. Problems of chronic exposure, improper waste disposal and environmental damage developed which led to the federal government regulating their use and manufacture. Pesticide manufacturers have a variety of physical and chemical disposal methods for pesticide wastes. Disposal or detoxification methods for pesticides that have become environmental pollutants through spills or accumulation in high use areas are limited or nonexistent. There is a potential for biodegradation to help decontaminate these environmental pollutants, since the degradation of organic compounds in the environment is predominantly microbiologically mediated. Further research on microbial metabolism of xenobiotics and their ability to degrade these compounds under different growth conditions is needed. Four objectives for this thesis research were to: 1. Screen laboratory field isolates for their capability to degrade the pesticides alachlor, carbofuran, and dicamba. 2a. Take key isolates obtained from objective 1 and determine in vitro broth degradation in three types of culture media. 2b. With these same isolates determine their in vitro soil slurry degradation capability. 3. Determine alachlor degradation by eight isolates obtained from an agricultural chemical spill. 4. Determine if any observed pesticide degradation was mediated by plasmid or chromosomal DNA.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pesticides -- Biodegradation
Soil degradation
Soils -- Pesticide content



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State