This study evaluated the in vitro effect of three concentrations of atrazine, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan on the growth parameters of four non-toxigenic Aspergillus section Flavi strains. The ability of the strains to remove these pesticides in a synthetic medium was also determined. Growth parameters were measured on soil extract solid medium supplied with 5, 10 and 20mg/l of each pesticide, and conditioned to -0.70, -2.78, -7.06 and -10.0 water potential (MPa). Removal assays were performed in Czapek Doc medium (CZD) supplied with 20mg/l of each pesticide under optimal environmental conditions (-2.78 of MPa and 25°C). The residual levels of each pesticide were detected by the reversed-phase HPLC/fluorescence detection system. The lag phases of the strains significantly decreased in the presence of the pesticides with respect to the control media. This result indicates a fast adaptation to the conditions assayed. Similarly, the mycelial growth rates in the different treatments increased depending on pesticide concentrations. Aspergillus oryzae AM 1 and AM 2 strains showed high percentages of atrazine degradation (above 90%), followed by endosulfan (56 and 76%) and chlorpyrifos (50 and 73%) after 30 days of incubation. A significant (p<0.001) correlation (r=0.974) between removal percentages and growth rate was found. This study shows that non-toxigenic Aspergillus section Flavi strains from agricultural soils are able to effectively grow in the presence of high concentrations of atrazine, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan under a wide range of MPa conditions. Moreover, these strains have the ability to remove high levels of these pesticides in vitro in a short time.
Keywords: Aspergillus flavus; Aspergillus oryzae; Atrazina; Atrazine; Chlorpyrifos; Clorpirifós; Endosulfan; Endosulfán; Growth parameters; Parámetros de crecimiento; Remoción; Removal.
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