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AGROMIX- Mixture Toxicity evaluation in agricultural soils
Coordinator - Susana Loureiro
Programme - PTDC/AGR-AAM/68676/2006
Execution dates - 2007-11-01 - 2010-10-31 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Funding for CESAM - 123646 €
Total Funding - 123646 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro

Nowadays, conflicts between agricultural production and environmental quality are growing and they are focused mainly on agrochemicals' use, biodiversity, genetic resources, climate changes and water quality.
Our aim will be to examine responses of organisms and plants to chemical mixture in soils like pesticides and metal elements from fertilizers. These responses (e.g. plant growth, animal avoidance behaviour and reproduction) will be fit to models that describe the interaction of chemical with different and similar modes of action.
The specific objectives are to test the following hypothesis: 1) Do chemicals with the same mode of action follow the "concentration addition" behaviour in mixtures? 2) Do chemicals with different mode of action follow the "independent action" behaviour in mixtures? 3) Can already developed bio-tools (bioassays and models) be used to predict this kind of chemical behaviour? Answering these questions will raise novel approaches to: 1) assess scenarios with probable contamination from agricultural sources, 2) preventing additional soil toxicity by increasing new chemical inputs and also 3) improving soil quality and human health.
For that several pesticides (e.g. imidacloprid, diflubenzuron, prochloraz) and metal elements (e.g. cadmium, copper, lead) will be chosen taking into account their MoA and their combination (with similar and distinct MoA) and will be tested using bioassays (objective 1 and 2). The selection of toxicity tests should be consistent with ERA practices and therefore relevant taxonomic species selected. The final results will be fit into the models
described above and the combined effects studied and discussed (objectives 1, 2 and 3). Different parameters used in the same experiments will be also studied to investigate if different endpoints can re-direct to different behaviors for the same chemical combination.
We expect that this study will bring us more information on organisms' sensitivity to several combinations of chemical stressors and on the mechanistic response they provide.

Members on this project
Amadeu Soares

grant holder

PhD student
Mónica Amorim