Effect of Antibiotics on the Germination and Root Elongation of Argentine Intensive Crops

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Faculty of Veterinary Science, National University of Litoral, Kreder 2805, (3080) Esperanza, Argentine

2 Institute of Animal Science and Technology, Technical University of Valencia (Universitat Politècnica de València), Camino de Vera S/N, (46072) Valencia, Spain


For small cheese-making factories, with no effluent treatment plants, whey can be a serious problem and the landfarming technique represents an alternative for its disposal. However, whey may contain antibiotic residues at the Maximum Residue Limits. Therefore, in this work, we evaluated the phytotoxic effect of different concentrations of five antibiotics (enrofloxacin, kanamycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin and tylosin) on the germination frequency and root elongation of five Argentine crops: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), corn (Zea mays), soybean (Glycine max), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and wheat (Triticum aestivum). We concluded that the antibiotic concentrations currently allowable for the dairy industry (Maximum Residue Limits) are a potential risk for S. bicolor, corn and G. max crops. Results showed that 0.10 mg/l of enrofloxacin affected sorghum, 0.15 mg/l of kanamycin affected corn and G. max, 0.004 mg/l of penicillin affected corn, G. max and S. bicolor, and that 0.05 mg/l of tylosin affected G. max. Therefore, dumping whey contaminated with antibiotic residues on the soil is not recommended.