Zackry R Stevenson
- Graduate Assistant
Although the broadleaf herbicide 2,4-D has been used for over 70 years, there is limited knowledge about the health effects of human exposure. 2,4-D is being increasingly added to new formulations of herbicides used on genetically resistant corn and soybeans and applied in greater amounts to Iowa’s row crops. Literature reports indicate that Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides with adsorbed Fe(II), produced during microbial Fe(III) reduction, are chemically reactive toward 2,4-D, helping to degrade it. As a similar reactive surface is produced during microbial Fe(II) oxidation, we hypothesize that 2,4-D can be degraded in Fe(II)-oxidizing conditions. Due to the high water table and iron-rich soils in much of Iowa, such as Fe(II)-oxidizing conditions are common. We are testing this with isolates and enrichments of Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria, as well as surveying for this process in local environments.