Degradation of three herbicides, atrazine, cyanazine and dicamba, was assessed in laboratory microcosms incubated under simulated methanogenic conditions using sediment from Pearl River of Southern China as an inoculum. Atrazine was much more resistant to degradation than cyanazine and dicamba over 300 days of incubation. Biodegradation of cyanazine and dicamba was further substantiated by establishment of enrichment transfer cultures in which the degradation of the respective herbicide was accelerated by the active microorganisms. Degradation of cyanazine initially involved the removal of chlorine and the two side chains, while that of dicamba was O-demethylation reaction forming 3,6-dichlorosalicyclic acid. Results suggest that biodegradation of xenobiotics can be established through enrichment culture transfer technique, and further mechanism of degradation and microorganisms involved can be elucidated.
- Methanogenic conditions