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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 1, p. 170-178
    Received: May 25, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): wenlin.chen@syngenta.com
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Role of Soil Sorption and Microbial Degradation on Dissipation of Mesotrione in Plant-Available Soil Water

  1. Dale Shanera,
  2. Galen Brunkb,
  3. Scott Nissenb,
  4. Phil Westrab and
  5. Wenlin Chen *c
  1. a USDA–ARS, Water Management Research Unit, 2150 Centre Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80526
    b Bioagricultural Science and Pest Management, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    c Product Safety/R&D, Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419. Assigned to Associate Editor Jose-Julio Ortega-Calvo


Mesotrione is a carotenoid biosynthesis-inhibiting herbicide labeled for pre-emergence and postemergence weed control in corn production. Understanding the factors that influence the dissipation of mesotrione in soil and in the plant-available water (PAW) is important for the environmental fate assessment and optimal weed management practices. The present research investigated the role of soil properties and microbial activities on the interrelated sorption and degradation processes of mesotrione in four soils by direct measurements of PAW. We found that mesotrione bound to the soils time dependently, with approximately 14 d to reach equilibrium. The 24-h batch-slurry equilibrium experiments provided the sorption partition coefficient ranging from 0.26 to 3.53 L kg−1, depending on soil organic carbon and pH. The dissipation of mesotrione in the soil-bound phase was primarily attributed to desorption to the PAW. Degradation in the PAW was rapid and primarily dependent on microbial actions, with half-degradation time (DT50) <3 d in all four soils tested. The rapid degradation in the PAW became rate limited by sorption as more available molecules were depleted in the soil pore water, resulting in a more slowed overall process for the total soil–water system (DT50 <26 d). The dissipation of mesotrione in the PAW was due to microbial metabolism and time-dependent sorption to the soils. A coupled kinetics model calibrated with the data from the laboratory centrifugation technique provided an effective approach to investigate the interrelated processes of sorption and degradation in realistic soil moisture conditions.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.