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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Chlortetracycline and Oxytetracycline Effects on Plant Growth and Development in Soil Systems1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 4, p. 675-678
    Received: Feb 11, 1982

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  1. A. R. Batchelder2



Antibiotics that are added to cattle feed have produced numerous benefits. However, when those antibiotics are excreted in manure and the manure is spread over cropland, plant growth and development might be affected. A series of greenhouse experiments was conducted to determine 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 plant growth and development in Ascalon sandy loam, an Aridic Argiustoll of the fine-loamy, mixed, mesic family, and Nunn clay loam, an Aridic Argiustoll of the fine, montmorillonitic, mesic family. In sandy loam, the antibiotic concentrations were either 0 or 160 ppm. Edible radish (Raphanus sativus L.) yields, and the nutrient uptake of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) were greater with either antibiotic than they were with the control treatment. Pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were affected by both antibiotics. Bean yields, plant heights, top and root dry-weights, and the Ca, Mg, K, and N contents were all decreased by the antibiotics. Because only beans showed an adverse response in the sandy loam, they were the only plants grown in the clay loam. There were no antibiotic effects on the bean plants with either antibiotic in a concentration series of 0–160 ppm. The growth and development effects were related to soil characteristics and plant sensitivities.

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