Date of Award
Master of Science
Joel R. Coats
Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the agricultural industry today and, as a result, can commonly be found in many bodies of water in the Midwest. Atrazine and its metabolites have been shown to have many adverse effects on plants and animals within an ecosystem. Previous research has shown that phytoremediation of atrazine by switchgrass has potential to be a viable remediation strategy. The long-term goal of this research arc is to establish switchgrass buffer strips along the lower edge of fields and along terraces to help remove atrazine from surface water runoff. To further the knowledge of atrazine phytoremediation by switchgrass and to work towards the long-term goal, the current research project had two objectives: (1) determine degradation of atrazine using radiolabeled 14C-atrazine to allow for more in-depth analysis than previous studies and (2) determine the possible exudation of atrazine metabolites from the switchgrass after uptake and degradation. The research presented here shows that atrazine was taken up and degraded into the metabolites deethylatrazine, deisopropylatrazine, didealkylatrazine, and cyanuric acid. Contrary to published research, I did not find the metabolite hydroxyatrazine present in switchgrass tissues, suggesting that degradation of hydroxyatrazine does not occur in the switchgrass plant. Additionally, I showed that switchgrass did not exude metabolites of atrazine into soil following uptake and degradation.
Albright, Vurtice, "Investigations into the capabilities of switchgrass to phytoremediate atrazine contamination in surface water runoff" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10436.