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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #386052

Research Project: Strategic Investigations to Improve Water Quality and Ecosystem Sustainability in Agricultural Landscapes

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

Title: Atrazine uptake, translocation, bioaccumulation and biodegradation in cattail (Typhalatifolia) as function of exposure time

item PEREZ, DEBORA - Instituto Nacional De Tecnologia Agropecuaria
item DOUCETTE, WILLIAM - Utah State University
item Moore, Matthew

Submitted to: Chemosphere
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2021
Publication Date: 8/30/2021
Citation: Perez, D.J., Doucette, W.J., Moore, M.T. 2021. Atrazine uptake, translocation, bioaccumulation and biodegradation in cattail (Typhalatifolia) as function of exposure time. Chemosphere.

Interpretive Summary: During storm events, pesticides can run off agricultural land and enter rivers, lakes, and streams, causing them to be contaminated. One way to help clean the water running off of farm fields is to allow aquatic plants to filter the water as it travels down a farm ditch. Cattails are a common aquatic plant found across the United States, and they are present in most, if not all, agricultural areas. The current study took cattails and exposed them to water contaminated with the herbicide atrazine. Over 42 days, samples were taken to see whether the atrazine was taken up from the water by the plant. Atrazine was taken up by the cattail roots and distributed to the shoots of the plants, indicating the ability of cattail to clean water contaminated with atrazine. This is important information that conservationists can use when designing systems to clean agricultural runoff before it enters rivers, lakes, and streams.

Technical Abstract: The extensive use and environmental persistence of atrazine has resulted in its ubiquitous occurrence in water resources. Some reports have described atrazine bioaccumulation and biodegradation pathways in terrestrial plants, but there is scarce information for aquatic macrophytes. Using Typha latifolia (cattail) the research goals were to analyze morphological changes, uptake, translocation and bioaccumulation patterns in tissues in a long-term exposure; and to determine the presence of atrazine biodegradation metabolites, desethylatrazine (DEA) and desisopropylatrazine (DIA), in tissues. Plants were hydroponically exposed to 20 µg/L atrazine (18 exposed and 18 non-exposed) at 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 days. Plants were separated into root, rhizome, stem, and base, middle and upper leaf sections. Atrazine was analyzed by LC-MS/MS and DIA and DEA by LC-DAD. Reductions in plant weight (after 21 days) and transpiration (after 28 days) were observed, both symptoms of chronic phytotoxicity. The distribution of atrazine within various tissues were expressed as bioconcentration factors (L/kg): middle leaf (81.8 ± 4.8) = upper leaf (66.1 ± 4.3) = lower leaf (52.8 ± 2.2) = sprouts (55.29 ± 11.68) > stem (8.2 ± 0.4) = root (7.2 ± 0.3) = rhizome (5.3 ± 0.2). In submerged tissues, DEA and DIA were detected in similar concentrations. In leaves, DIA was the main metabolite identified. Results indicated that atrazine was taken up from roots to shoot in T. latifolia , and this herbicide induced phytotoxity effects that reduced the translocation to shoot. Typha likely has the ability to biodegrade atrazine via different metabolic pathways.