Brazil has international prominence in sugarcane production and its agricultural relevance is directly associated with the high use of chemical products. In weeds control, tebuthiuron is one of the herbicides most used in sugarcane crops in Brazil. However, this molecule has a high environmental impact potential due to its toxicity and persistence in soil. Although agrochemicals have a beneficial effect on agricultural productivity, consideration should be given to potential risk of these chemicals in environment, which has aroused the scientific interest in their degradation. The search for new strategies to reduce this environmental impact is necessary in order to develop ecologically and economically viable alternatives for remediation of soils contaminated with herbicide. Thus, this research project proposes to isolate and select soil microorganisms as potentially efficient biotechnological tools in tebuthiuron biodegradation. Microbial strains bioprospection will be performed from samples of soil cultivated with sugarcane with tebuthiuron application by isolation techniques. Potentially degrading cultures will be identified morphologically. Moreover, microbial isolates may be referred for molecular identification. Colorimetric method with DCPIP indicator will be used in metabolic potential evaluation for microorganisms strains and consortia in tebuthiuron degradation. Initially, growth and biodegradability of isolates will be analyzed individually. From these results, microbial consortia will be proposed among the strains. Results will be expressed in minimum discoloration time for each isolated culture and /or microbial consortium. Finally, experimental data will be analyzed by performing variance analysis and Tukey test at 5.0% probability for the comparison of means. Potentially, it is expected to present an innovative technology and commercial application for patents validation as a biotechnological tool for bioremediation.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: