Contribution of transformation products towards the total herbicide toxicity to tropical marine organisms

Mercurio, Philip, Eaglesham, Geoff, Parks, Stephen, Kenway, Matt, Beltran, Victor, Flores, Florita, Mueller, Jochen F., and Negri, Andrew P. (2018) Contribution of transformation products towards the total herbicide toxicity to tropical marine organisms. Scientific Reports, 8. 4808.

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The toxicity of herbicide degradation (transformation) products is rarely taken into account, even though these are commonly detected in the marine environment, sometimes at concentrations higher than the parent compounds. Here we assessed the potential contribution of toxicity by transformation products of five photosystem II herbicides to coral symbionts (Symbiodinium sp.), the green algae Dunaliella sp., and prawn (Penaeus monodon) larvae. Concentration-dependent inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (Delta F/F-m') was observed for all herbicides in both microalgal species. The toxicity of solutions of aged diuron solutions containing transformation products to Symbiodinium sp. and Dunaliella sp. was greater than could be explained by the concentrations of diuron measured, indicating transformation products contributed to the inhibition of Delta F/F-m'. However, the toxicity of aged atrazine, simazine, hexazinone, and ametryn solutions could be explained by the concentration of parent herbicide, indicating no contribution by transformation products. Prawn larval metamorphosis was not sensitive to the herbicides, but preliminary results indicated some toxicity of the transformation products of atrazine and diuron. Risk assessments should take into account the contribution of herbicide transformation products; however, further studies are clearly needed to test the toxicity of a far wider range of transformation products to a representative diversity of relevant taxa.

Item ID: 53570
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Caring for our Country Initiative
Projects and Grants: ARC future fellowship (FF120100546)
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 08:19
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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