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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Chlortetracycline and Oxytetracycline Effects on Plant Growth and Development in Liquid Cultures1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 10 No. 4, p. 515-518
    Received: Dec 13, 1980

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  1. A. R. Batchelder2



Cattle manure often contains relatively large amounts of antibiotics used as cattle feed supplements. Spreading that manure over cropland might cause plant growth problems. Two greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of two antibiotics, chlortetracycline (7-chloro-4-dimethylamino-1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydro-3,6,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy-6-methyl-1,11-dioxo-2-naphthacenecarboxamide) and oxytetracycline (4-[dimethylamino]-1,4,4α,5,5α,6,11,12a-octahydro-3,5,6,10,12,12a-hexahydroxy-6-methyl-1,11-dioxo-2-naphthacenecarboxamide) on pinto bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris var. University of Idaho 114) grown in aerated nutrient media. Root growth and development were markedly decreased by both antibiotics as their concentrations were increased from 0 to 160 ppm in solution. Top dry weights were reduced 71–87% by the antibiotic concentrations, and root dry weights were decreased 66–94%. Plant mortality increased as the antibiotic concentrations were increased and all plants died at the 160-ppm treatment level. Chlortetracycline degraded faster in nutrient solution than oxytetracycline did, but the effects on pinto bean plants were more detrimental even at lower concentrations. The results showed that relatively low antibiotic concentrations can markedly affect pinto bean plant growth and development in nutrient solution.

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