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Environmental Safety >> Terrestrial Laboratory >> Non-Target Soil Organisms

Non-Target Soil Organisms

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Eurofins Agroscience Services is experienced in conducting ecotoxicological acute and chronic studies with soil organisms

This includes earthworms, micro-arthropods (springtails and mites) and soil microorganisms. In addition to the standard application, coated seeds, pellets, granules with formulations, actives and metabolites are tested using modified test designs. If required, verification of application can be linked to in-house residue analysis. The following studies are conducted routinely in our testing facilities:

Earthworms (Eisenia fetida/andrei)
We have more than 25 years experience in laboratory testing of ecotoxicological effects of Plant Protection Products and other chemicals on earthworms. Our stock cultures of Eisenia fetida and E. andrei provide the high quality test organisms needed to perform acute toxicity studies, reproduction toxicity studies and bioaccumulation studies all the year round.

  • Acute toxicity test - OECD 207 / ISO 11268-1
    Effect of the test item on mortality and change in body weight of the earthworms is assessed in order to determine the LC50 and the NOEC/LOEC.
  • Reproduction test - OECD 222 / ISO 11268-2
    Effects of the test item on reproduction and growth of Eisenia fetida/andrei is assessed in order to determine the EC50 and the NOEC/LOEC.
  • Bioaccumulation study - OECD 317
    Bioaccumulation in Eisenia fetida/andrei studies can be conducted with un-labelled or radio labelled (14C) substances in order to determine the BCF/BAF. Eurofins can support you in designing and synthesising your radio-label.

Enchytraeids (Enchytraeus albidus/crypticus)
As an alternate oligochaete, species of the genus Enchytraeus like E. albidus or E. crypticus can be tested, e.g. if only less test item is available.

  • Reproduction test - OECD 222
    Effects of the test item on reproduction of Enchytraeids is assessed in order to determine the EC50 and the NOEC/LOEC.

Soil Micro-Arthropods

Springtails (Folsomia candida)

  • Reproduction test - OECD 232
    Effects of the test item on reproduction of the soil inhabiting collembolan species Folsomia candida is assessed in order to determine the EC50 and the NOEC/LOEC. As an alternative, springtail species other than the parthenogenetic and endogeic standard species F. candida, the litter dwelling and sexually reproducing springtail Sinella curviseta can be tested in our lab.

Predatory mites (Hypoaspis aculeifer)

  • Reproduction test - OECD 226
    Effects of the test item on reproduction of the predatory soil dwelling mite Hypoaspis aculeifer is assessed in order to determine the EC50 and the NOEC/LOEC. Furthermore, as an additional soil mite species we can offer tests with the oribatid soil mite Oppia nitens (ISO Draft 23226:2018).

Studies with earthworms, springtails and soil mites are commonly conducted using OECD artificial soil. However, tests can also be conducted using natural soils (e.g. standard soils obtained from LUFA, Speyer, Germany or any other soil of interest depending on the specific issue; soil characterization is performed in-house). Depending on the solubility of the test item, it can be applied with different carriers (water, organic solvents or quartz sand); this applies for all tests.

Soil Microflora

As standard, we conduct the soil microflora test throughout the year using natural soil (standard soil obtained from LUFA, Speyer, Germany). This test includes the nitrogen transformation and the short-term respiration tests.

  • Nitrogen Transformation Test - OECD 216
    Nitrogen turnover is determined by Continuous Flow Analysis (CFA), measuring the NO3- -N content in aqueous soil extracts. If required, nitrite can also be determined from the samples.
  • Short-Term Respiration Test - OECD 217
    This study is conducted using the OxiTop® System. The detector head is able to determine and record the time dependent change of pressure inside the bottle caused by the oxygen consumption and turnover to carbon dioxide.

Mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus mossae)

  • Spore germination test – ISO 10832
    Effects of the test item on the spore germination rate of Glomus mossae is tested in order to determine the EC50.

Non-standard studies

We also offer client customized non-standard studies based on specific issues using different devices (e.g. drip irrigation system under semi-field conditions) or species (e.g. the endogeic earthworm species Aporrectodea caliginosa). Furthermore, our group is currently working on test system development of a laboratory test, e.g. with terrestrial isopod (Porcellio scaber) feeding on test item treated leaf litter (exposure via food uptake) to address relevant requirements of current EFSA opinion papers.

 For further information, please contact us