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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - BIOREMEDIATION AND BIODEGRADATION

Metalaxyl Toxicity, Uptake, and Distribution in Several Ornamental Plant Species


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 2, p. 411-417
    Received: Mar 16, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): cwilson@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
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  1. P.Chris Wilson *a,
  2. Ted Whitwellb and
  3. Stephen J. Klainec
  1. a Indian River Research and Education Center, Univ. of Florida-IFAS, 2199 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945-3138
    b Dep. of Horticulture, P & A's Building, Box 34-0375, Room E-142, Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC 29634-0375
    c Dep. of Environmental Toxicology, Clemson Univ., 509 Westinghouse Road, Pendleton, SC 29670


Phytoremediation depends on the ability of plants to tolerate and assimilate contaminants. This research characterized the interaction between several ornamental plant species and the fungicidal active ingredient, metalaxyl [N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-(methoxyacetyl)alanine methyl ester]. Species evaluated included sweetflag (Acorus gramineus Sol. ex Aiton), canna (Canna hybrida L. `Yellow King Humbert'), parrotfeather [Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vell.) Verdc.], and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata L.). Metalaxyl tolerance levels for each species were determined by exposing plants for 7 d to solutions containing 0, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 mg metalaxyl L−1 aqueous nutrient media. Response endpoints included fresh mass production after 7 d exposure and 7 d post-exposure and quantum efficiency using dark-adapted (Fv/Fm) and light-adapted (fluorescence yields) plants. Metalaxyl uptake and distribution within the plant was determined by growing plants in aqueous nutrient media containing 1.18 × 106 Bq L−1 [14C]metalaxyl (0.909 mg L−1) for 1, 3, 5, or 7 d. Plant tissues were combusted and analyzed by liquid scintillation counting. Metalaxyl had no effects on the endpoints measured, except for fresh mass production of sweetflag at the 75 and 100 mg L−1 treatment levels. However, leaf necrosis was apparent in most species after 5 d exposure to concentrations greater than 25 mg L−1 Metalaxyl removal from the spiked nutrient media ranged from 15 to 60% during the 7-d exposure period. The majority of metalaxyl removed from the solution was detected within individual plants. In nearly all cases, activity from the radiolabeled pesticide accumulated in the leaves. Uptake of metalaxyl was correlated with water uptake throughout the 7 d. These results suggest that all species examined may be good candidates for incorporation into a phytoremediation scheme for metalaxyl.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:411–417.