Enantioselective Oxidative Stress Induced by S- and Rac-metolachlor in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Seedlings

  • Qian Qu
  • Mingjing Ke
  • Yizhi Ye
  • Qi Zhang
  • Tao Lu
  • Zhenyan Zhang
  • Haifeng QianEmail author


The unfounded use of chiral pesticides has caused widespread concern. In this study, the enantioselective effects of S- and racemic (Rac)-metolachlor on the oxidative stress of wheat seedlings was determined based on physiological and gene transcription differences. Growth inhibition increased with increasing concentrations of tested metolachlor, and S-metolachlor had a stronger inhibitory effect than did Rac-metolachlor. Root growth was also significantly inhibited, but no enantioselective effects from the tested concentrations of the metolachlor enantiomers were observed. At a concentration of 5 mg L−1, the maximal fresh weight inhibition reached 63.7% and 53.8% for S-metolachlor and Rac-metolachlor, respectively. In response to the S-metolachlor treatment, the maximum level of superoxide anions and malondialdehyde (MDA) increased to 1.73 and 2.55 times that in response to the control treatment, both of which were greater than those in response to the Rac-metolachlor treatment. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) also increased in response to the S-metolachlor treatment, but the activity of peroxidase (POD) decreased. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed that, compared with the Rac-metolachlor treatment, the S-metolachlor treatment attenuated the expression of several antioxidant genes. Together, these results demonstrate that S-metolachlor has a greater effect than does Rac-metolachlor on wheat seedlings.


Enantioselectivity Metolachlor Antioxidant enzyme Gene transcription 



This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (21777144, 21577128), the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Pioneer Hundred Talents Program (H.F. Qian) and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Talent Project (H.F. Qian).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Qu
    • 1
  • Mingjing Ke
    • 1
  • Yizhi Ye
    • 1
  • Qi Zhang
    • 1
  • Tao Lu
    • 1
  • Zhenyan Zhang
    • 1
  • Haifeng Qian
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of EnvironmentZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China

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