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Environmental toxicology and chemistry

Degradation products of a phenylurea herbicide, diuron: synthesis, ecotoxicity, and biotransformation.


PMID 11434279

Abstract

The degradation products of diuron (photoproducts and metabolites), already described in the literature, were synthesized in order to carry out further investigations. Their ecotoxicity was determined using the standardized Microtox test, and most of the derivatives presented a nontarget toxicity higher than that of diuron. Therefore, the biotransformation of these compounds was tested with four fungal strains and a bacterial strain, which were known to be efficient for diuron transformation. With the exception of the 3,4-dichlorophenylurea, all the degradation products underwent other transformations with most of the strains tested, but no mineralization was observed. For many of them, the biodegradation compound for which the toxicity was important was 3,4-dichlorophenylurea. This study underlines the importance of knowing the nature of the degradation products, which has to be kept in mind while analyzing natural water samples or soil samples.

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