Sulfamethazine uptake by plants from manure-amended soil

Holly Dolliver, Kuldip Kumar, Satish C Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Animal manure is applied to agricultural land as a means to provide crop nutrients. However, animal manure often contains antibiotics as a result of extensive therapeutic and subtherapeutic use in livestock production. The objective of this study was to evaluate plant uptake of a sulfonamide-class antibiotic, sulfamethazine, in corn (Zea mays L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) grown in a manure-amended soil. The treatments were 0, 50, and 100 μg sulfamethazine mL-1 manure applied at a rate of 56 000 L ha-1. Results from the 45-d greenhouse experiment showed that sulfamethazine was taken up by all three crops, with concentrations in plant tissue ranging from 0.1 to 1.2 mg kg-1 dry weight. Sulfamethazine concentrations in plant tissue increased with corresponding increase of sulfamethazine in manure. Highest plant tissue concentrations were found in corn and lettuce, followed by potato. Total accumulation of sulfamethazine in plant tissue after 45 d of growth was less than 0.1% of the amount applied to soil in manure. These results raise potential human health concerns of consuming low levels of antibiotics from produce grown on manure-amended soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

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