Effects of Roundup(®) and glyphosate on three food microorganisms: Geotrichum candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

Curr Microbiol. 2012 May;64(5):486-91. doi: 10.1007/s00284-012-0098-3. Epub 2012 Feb 24.


Use of many pesticide products poses the problem of their effects on environment and health. Amongst them, the effects of glyphosate with its adjuvants and its by-products are regularly discussed. The aim of the present study was to shed light on the real impact on biodiversity and ecosystems of Roundup(®), a major herbicide used worldwide, and the glyphosate it contains, by the study of their effects on growth and viability of microbial models, namely, on three food microorganisms (Geotrichum candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus) widely used as starters in traditional and industrial dairy technologies. The presented results evidence that Roundup(®) has an inhibitory effect on microbial growth and a microbicide effect at lower concentrations than those recommended in agriculture. Interestingly, glyphosate at these levels has no significant effect on the three studied microorganisms. Our work is consistent with previous studies which demonstrated that the toxic effect of glyphosate was amplified by its formulation adjuvants on different human cells and other eukaryotic models. Moreover, these results should be considered in the understanding of the loss of microbiodiversity and microbial concentration observed in raw milk for many years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Food Microbiology
  • Geotrichum / drug effects*
  • Geotrichum / growth & development
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Herbicides / pharmacology*
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii / drug effects*
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii / growth & development
  • Lactococcus lactis / drug effects*
  • Lactococcus lactis / growth & development
  • Milk / microbiology*


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine