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Abstract

 

This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 278-283
     
    Received: Aug 25, 1973
    Accepted: Nov 21, 1973


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1974.03615995003800020022x

Biodegradation of Nitrilotriacetate (NTA) in Soils1

  1. J. M. Tiedje and
  2. B. B. Mason2

Abstract

Abstract

Nitrilotriacetate (NTA) was biodegraded in a variety of soils as measured by total CO2 and 14CO2 production from 14C-carboxyl-NTA. Production of CO2 and 14CO2 followed similar patterns and suggested complete degradation of NTA; 14CO2 production was used routinely to assay NTA dissimilation. At 40 ppm of NTA in soils receiving sewage effluent and in muck soils, maximum rates of degradation were 8 to 10 ppm/day while in mineral surface soils, they ranged from 0.5 to 6 ppm/day; the rates in subsoils were always less than for the surface soils from the same site. Degradation rates did not correlate with pH, drainage, texture, or plant cover. Rates of degradation increased from 2 to 64 ppm/day as NTA concentration was increased from 10 to 600 ppm. 14CO2 production from NTA did not occur anaerobically and was severely limited under microaerophilic conditions. NTA was degraded at 24 and 12.5C; it was also degraded at 2C if previously acclimatized at 12.5C. Iminodiacetate was a possible intermediate in NTA degradation while N-methyliminodiacetate was not.

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