Microbial degradation pathways of the herbicide dichlobenil in soils with different history of dichlobenil-exposure

Maria S. Holtze, Hans Christian B. Hansen, René K. Juhler, Jan Sørensen, Jens Aamand

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30 Citations (Scopus)


This is the first detailed study of metabolite production during degradation of the herbicide 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (dichlobenil). Degradation of dichlobenil and three potential metabolites: 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM), 2,6-dichlorobenzoic acid (2,6-DCBA) and ortho-chlorobenzamide (OBAM) was studied in soils either previously exposed or not exposed to dichlobenil using a newly developed HPLC method. Dichlobenil was degraded in all four soils; BAM and 2,6-DCBA were only degraded in soils previously exposed to dichlobenil (100% within 35-56 days and 85-100% in 56 days, respectively), and OBAM in all four soils (25-33% removal in 48 days). BAM produced from dichlobenil was either hydrolyzed to 2,6-DCBA or dechlorinated to OBAM, which was further hydrolyzed to ortho-chlorobenzoic acid. BAM was rapidly mineralized in previously exposed soils only. All potential metabolites and the finding that BAM was a dead-end metabolite of dichlobenil in soils not previously exposed to dichlobenil needs to be included in risk assessments of the use of dichlobenil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • 2,6-dichlorobenzamide
  • Degradation pathway
  • Dichlobenil
  • Microbial degradation
  • Ortho-chlorobenzamide

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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