Bacteria-assisted removal of fluoroquinolones from wheat rhizospheres in an agricultural soil

Luqman Riaz, Tariq Mahmood, Qingxiang Yang, M. S. Coyne, E. D'Angelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Extensive fluoroquinolone antibiotics use results in their widespread occurrence in various environments including soil, which threatens the soil ecology and public health. The fate of fluoroquinolones in agricultural soil and the efficacy of enhanced degradation in the presence of an agricultural crops and antibiotic degrading bacteria could be better understood. The current study examined ciprofloxacin (CIP), enrofloxacin (ENR), and levofloxacin (LEV) biodegradation in a Maury Silt Loam soil in greenhouse conditions by bacterial-assisted removal of individual and mixed antibiotics in wheat rhizospheres. Fluoroquinolones were added at rates of 5, 50, and 100 mg kg−1. Three bacterial isolates were applied at 106 CFU g−1 soil individually and in consortium. Antibiotics appeared in wheat tissue, with more accumulation in roots than shoots. Low recoveries (<50%) of CIP, ENR, and LEV were observed at all levels and treatments in a bacteria and wheat-free control compared to the initial concentrations applied Contaminated soil with wheat had greater antibiotic recovery than the wheat-free control. Antibiotic recovery with bacterial inoculum was less than that of the indigenous bacteria. The least antibiotic recovery occurred with wheat and bacterial inoculum together. At concentrations of 5 and 50 mg kg−1, but not at 100 mg kg−1, CIP, ENR, and LEV were below detection limits in soil after 30 days through the combination of wheat and bacteria compared to the control. This synergistic removal of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics is proposed to be due to enhanced antibiotic bioavailability, which suggests it as an environment-friendly approach to biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Antibiotics
  • Biodegradation
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Enrofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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