Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,211
Principal Investigators: Amy Schmidt, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Xu Li, Daniel Snow
Abstract: Runoff from feedlots is a human health and environmental concern regardless of whether growth-promoting hormones are used or not. Management practices that may reduce the losses of these compounds during runoff from feedlots or following manure application to cropland need to be explored. Determining the role of manure-borne pathogens as drivers of steroid deconjugation may provide insight into how these EDCs persist in the environment following excretion by livestock. Furthermore, the potential for forages to serve as both a means of bioremediation of hormones and pathogens and as a vector for the spread of pathogens among cattle warrants exploration. This research project is designed to quantify the effect of E. coli O26:H11 on deconjugation of steroids excreted by beef cattle and examine the ability of a common Nebraska forage to internalize steroid hormones and pathogenic E. coli present in soil. Specific objectives, in pursuit of the long-term objective of identifying methods for controlling losses to the environment of pathogens and EDCs from livestock production areas and land receiving application of livestock manure, are: 1. Identify and quantify steroid conjugates in fresh beef cattle urine. 2. Assess the effect of E. coli O26:H11 on deconjugation of steroids contained in soil. 3. Quantify the internal accumulation of steroid hormones and bioluminescent E. coli O26:H11 in plant tissue of tall fescue receiving contaminated wastewater.