Soil amidase activity in polyacrylamide-treated soils and potential activity toward common amide-containing pesticides

Jeanine L. Kay-Shoemake, Mary E. Watwood, Robert E. Sojka, Roderick D. Lentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Polyacrylamide (PAM) is currently used as an irrigation water additive to significantly reduce the amount of soil erosion that occurs during furrow irrigation of crops. Elevated soil amidase activity specific toward the large PAM polymer has been reported in PAM-treated field soils; the substrate specificity of the induced amidase is uncertain. PAM-treated and untreated soils were assayed for their capacity to hydrolyze the amide bond in carbaryl (Sevin), diphenamid (Dymid), and naphthalene acetamide. Based on results obtained with a soil amidase assay, there was no difference between PAM-treated and untreated soils with respect to the rate of amide bond hydrolysis of any of the agrochemicals tested. It appears that under these assay conditions the PAM-induced soil amidase is not active toward the amide bonds within these molecules. However, carbaryl was hydrolyzed by a different soil amidase. To our knowledge, this is the first soil enzyme assay-based demonstration of the hydrolysis of carbaryl by a soil amidase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Carbaryl
  • Diphenamid
  • Naphthalene acetamide
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Soil amidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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