Journal of environmental science and health. Part. B, Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes

Degradation kinetics of forchlorfenuron in typical grapevine soils of India and its influence on specific soil enzyme activities.

PMID 18437622


The rate of degradation of forchlorfenuron, a cytokinin-based plant growth regulator (PGR) was explored in typical grapevine soils of India with simultaneous evaluation of its effect on biochemical attributes of the test soils in terms of the activities of specific soil microbial enzymes. In all the test soils, namely clay, sandy-loam and silty-clay, the dissipation rate was faster at the beginning, which slowed down with time, indicating a non-linear pattern of degradation. Degradation in soils could best be explained by two-compartment 1st+1st order kinetics with half-life ranging between 4-10 days. The results suggest that organic matter might be playing a major role in influencing the rate of degradation of forchlorfenuron in soil. The rate of degradation in sandy-loam soil was fastest followed by clay and silty-clay soils, respectively. Comparison of the rate of degradation in natural against sterilized soils suggests that microbial degradation might be the major pathway of residue dissipation. Changes in soil enzyme activities as a consequence of forchlorfenuron treatment were studied for extra-cellular enzymes namely acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and beta -glucosidase and intracellular enzyme-dehydrogenase. Although small changes in enzyme activities were observed, forchlorfenuron did not have any significant deleterious effect on the enzymatic activity of the test soils. Simple correlation studies between degradation percentage and individual enzyme activities did not establish any significant relationships. The pattern and change of enzyme activity was primarily the effect of the incubation period rather than the effect of forchlorfenuron itself.