About this Research Topic
Despite the recognized importance of soils for human and environmental health, arable soils are continuously exposed to agrochemicals including fertilizers, pesticides and veterinary antibiotics. Once applied to the soil, agrochemicals are subject to various dissipation processes with microbial degradation being the key process for most currently available agrochemicals. Upon their release in the soil environment, agrochemicals interact with soil microorganisms in various ways. On the one hand agrochemicals and/or their main metabolites can be harmful to soil microorganisms inducing detrimental effects on their community structure and function. On the other hand, agrochemicals can be used as substrates and/or source of energy for soil microorganisms which carry the genetic armoury to metabolize them rapidly. However, microbial metabolism of agrochemicals is not always synonymous to detoxification and occasionally leads to metabolic products which can be more deleterious than the parent compound. The factors determining the outcome of the interactions between soil microbes and agrochemicals (toxicity or energy-gain catabolism) should be explored within the soil environmental context to enable us to predict the potential consequences by the introduction of novel chemicals in the soil environment.
For the above reasons, we welcome researchers all over the world to contribute with original articles, as well as reviews that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the complex interactions between pesticides, antibiotics, organic pollutants and microorganisms.
Before submission, authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at http://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/all/section/systems-microbiology#author-guidelines.
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