Rhizoremediation of residual sulfonylurea herbicides in agricultural soils using Lens culinaris and a commercial supplement

Barry Rainbird, Richard Bentham, Kathleen Soole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfonylureas (SU) are a popular herbicide used today for controlling weeds. While beneficial for this purpose they present a persistent problem in agricultural treated areas, with this treatment proving detrimental for successive crops. This study assessed the phytoremediative properties of lentils (Lens culinaris) grown in uncontaminated and chlorsulfuron-contaminated soil, with and without the addition of a growth supplement, PulseAiderTM. The results show that in the presence of lentils the degradation of chlorsulfuron is enhanced and this degradation rate is significantly increased when the PulseAiderTM supplement was included during seed sowing. The supplement PulseAiderTM also significantly increased shoot and root biomass, root branching, and nodule number under control conditions. While this was not so for plants grown in contaminated soils, the PulseAiderTM supplement seemed to alter root branching and morphology. Most Probable Number (MPN) assays showed increased numbers of potential chlorsulfuron-degrading bacteria in soil treated with PulseAiderTM, although this was found to be significant only in the control soil. Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal gene showed the presence of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacterial species which is a known chlorsulfuron-degrading bacterium. This study is one of the first to address the remediation of residual SU herbicides and offers an economically feasible solution that may have an impact on global food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-113
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2018


  • Chlorsulfuron
  • Lentil
  • Phytoremediation


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