Quantitative structure—activity relationship study on the inhibitory effect of some herbicides on the growth of soil micro‐organisms

S. Nemes‐Kósa, T. Cserháti

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The effect of eight herbicides on the growth of six soil bacteria and three microscopic fungi, and on the amylase, cellulase and dehydrogenase activity in a Hungarian soil was determined. Herbicide decomposition rate in the soil was also assessed. Qualitative structure‐activity relationship (principal component analysis, spectral mapping technique and stepwise regression) analysis showed that the overwhelming majority (about 80%) of the effect of herbicides can be explained by one background variable showing the similarity between their mode of action. The two‐dimensional non‐linear map of principal component loadings and spectral map characteristics suggested that the number of substituents may be important in the determination of the toxic effects. The inhibition of bacterial growth, inhibition of fungal growth, and effects on enzyme activity and decomposition rate all formed different clusters on the maps indicating that herbicides influence these processes differently. Of the nine physicochemical parameters considered, only the electron withdrawing capacity of substituents significantly influenced the biological activity of herbicides, suggesting that electrostatic interactions between the herbicide molecules and micro‐organisms is important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Bacteriology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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