, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 111–122 | Cite as

Extended terbutryn persistence and herbicidal activity effected by superphosphate fertilizer

  • Amir Sharon
  • Nadav Aharonson
  • Uzi Kafkafi
Research Paper


Microorganisms play a major role in the degradation and detoxification of most soilapplied pesticides. Any interference with soil microbial activity may affect the persistence as well as the effectiveness of the pesticide. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of granulated superphosphate fertilizers on terbutryn (2-(tert-butylamino)-4-(ethylamino)-6-(methylthio)-l,3,5-triazine) degradation and on its herbicidal activity. Concentrations exceeding 1% of superphosphate in the soil slowed down terbutryn degradation; a concentration of 3% completely inhibited terbutryn degradation for nearly 60 days. When terbutryn was impregnated on the surface of superphosphate granules, the concentration of the fertilizer that inhibited terbutryn degradation was reduced from 3% to 0.1%. Bioassays with mustard seedlings confirmed the results obtained by chemical analysis of terbutryn. The decrease in the rate of terbutryn degradation was not specific to superphosphate. The inhibition of degradation could be attributed mainly to the concentration of the salt in the soil solution, expressed as electrical conductivity values, and not to the pH of the soil or to the type of the salt. Terbutryn was found to be quite stable on the surface of the superphosphate granule. At the concentrations tested, superphosphate did not affect root growth. The optimal weight of the impregnated granule for extending terbutryn activity was 125 mg, containing 0.2% terbutryn. A greenhouse experiment confirmed the findings that fertilizers could serve as potential inhibitors of terbutryn degradation.

Key Words

Herbicides soil residues microbial degradation extended herbicidal activity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aharonson, N., Rubin, B., Katan, J. and Benjamin, A. (1983) Effect of methyl bromide or solar heating treatment on the persistence of pesticides in soil.Proc. 5th Int. Congr. of Pesticide Chemistry (Kyoto, Japan), pp. 189–194.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Avidov, E., Aharonson, N., Katan, J., Rubin, B. and Yarden, O. (1985) Persistence of terbutryn and atrazine in soil as affected by soil disinfestation and fungicides.Weed Sci. 33: 457–461.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Doyle, R.C., Kaufman, D.D. and Burt, G.W. (1978) Effect of dairy manure and sewage sludge on14C-pesticide degradation in soil.J. Agric. Food Chem. 26:987–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferris, I.G. and Lichtenstein, E.P. (1980) Interaction between agricultural chemicals and soil microflora and their effects on the degradation of14C parathion in cranberry soil.J. Agric. FoodChem. 28:1011–1019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Katan, J. and Aharonson, N. (1989) Accelerated degradation of pesticides,in: Gerstl, Z., Chen, Y., Mingelgrin, U. and Yaron, B. [Eds.] Toxic Organic Chemicals in Porous Media. Ecological Studies 73, pp. 193–207. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaufman, D.D., Katan, J., Edwards, D.F. and Jordan, E.J. (1985) Microbial adaptation and metabolism of pesticides,in: Hilton, J.L. [Ed.] Agricultural Chemicals of the Future. Rowman and Allanheld, Totowa, NJ. pp. 437–451.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Laura, R.D. (1977) Salinity and nitrogen mineralization in soil.Soil. Biol. Biochem. 9: 333–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lichtenstein, E.P., Liang, T.T. and Koeppe, M.K. (1982) Effects of fertilizers, captafol, and atrazine on the fate and translocation of C-fonofos and C-parathion in a soil-plant microcosm.J. Agric. Food Chem. 30:871–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McCormick, R.W. and Duane, W.C. (1980) Effect of sodium chloride on CO2 evolution, ammonification and nitrification in a sassafras sandy loam.Soil Biol. Biochem. 12:153–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Petty, H.B., Burnside, O.C. and Bryant, J.P. (1971) Fertilizer combinations with herbicides or insecticides,in: Olson, R.A. [Ed.] Fertilizer Technology and Use. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Inc., Madison, WI. 2nd ed., pp. 495–515.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rajagopal, R.S. and Sethunathan, N. (1984) Influence of nitrogen fertilizers on the persistence of carbaryl and carbofuran in flooded soils.Pestic. Sci. 15:591–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Roeth, F.W. (1986) Enhanced herbicide degradation in soil with repeated application.Rev. Weed Sci. 2:45–65.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Roslycky, E.B. (1980) Fungicidal activity of vorlex and accumulation of linuron in vorlexlinuron treated soil.Can. J. Soil Sci. 60:651–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rubin, B. and Benjamin, A. (1983) Solar heating of the soil: Effect on weed control and on soil-incorporated herbicides.WeedSci. 31:819–822.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ryan, J.A. and Sims, J.L. (1974) Effect of phosphate and chloride salts on microbial activity in flooded soil.Soil Sci. 118:95–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir Sharon
    • 1
  • Nadav Aharonson
    • 1
  • Uzi Kafkafi
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Chemistry of Pesticides and Natural ProductsARO, The Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael
  2. 2.Dept. of Field and Vegetable CropsThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of AgricultureRehovotIsrael

Personalised recommendations