Metabolites of the phenylurea herbicides chlorotoluron, diuron, isoproturon and linuron produced by the soil fungus Mortierella sp.

Nora Badawi, Stig Rønhede, Stefan Olsson, Birthe B. Kragelund, Anders H. Johnsen, Ole Stig Jacobsen, Jens Aamand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phenylurea herbicides are used worldwide, and often pollute surface- and groundwater in concentrations exceeding the limit value for drinking water (0.1 μg l-1). Bacteria degrade phenylurea herbicides by successive N-dealkylation to substituted aniline products. Little is known about the corresponding fungal pathways, however. We here report degradation of chlorotoluron, diuron, isoproturon and linuron by the soil fungus Mortierella sp. Gr4. Degradation was fastest with linuron and resulted in successively dealkylated metabolites and 3,4-dichloroaniline. A major new metabolite was detected that has not yet been fully identified. Thin layer chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy indicate that it is a non-aromatic diol. Degradation of isoproturon, chlorotoluron and diuron involved successive N-demethylation and, in the case of isoproturon and chlorotoluron, additional hydroxylation. A new hydroxylated isoproturon metabolite was detected. The study thus shows that the fungal pathways differ from the bacterial pathways and yield new metabolites of possible environmental concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2806-2812
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume157
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • Biotransformation
  • Fungi
  • Herbicide metabolites
  • Phenylurea herbicides

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources

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