Clomazone (trade names Cerano and Command) is a popular herbicide used on California rice fields to control aquatic weeds. Its physicochemical characteristics indicate that it will persist primarily in the water column, where microbial degradation may drive its environmental fate. The objectives were to determine microbial degradation rates and compare the metabolic products under aerobic and anaerobic conditions similar to those in California rice fields during the summer. Time-series samples were extracted and analyzed by LC/MS/MS. Metabolic profiling revealed the following clomazone-derived transitions: m/z 240 --> 125 (clomazone), m/z 242 --> 125 (ring-open clomazone), m/z 256 --> 125 (5-hydroxyclomazone), m/z 256 --> 141 (aromatic hydroxyclomazone), m/z 268 --> 125 (unknown metabolite), and m/z 272 --> 141 (4'5-dihydroxyclomazone). Results indicate an anaerobic half-life of 7.9 days, with ring-open clomazone reaching 67.4% of application at 38 days. Aerobically, clomazone degraded more slowly (t(1/2) = 47.3 days), forming mostly soil-bound residues. Thus, under summer conditions, clomazone is likely to dissipate rapidly from fields via anaerobic degradation.
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