The Microbial Degradation of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid in Soil

  • E. R. I. C. Sandmann
  • M. A. Loos
  • L. P. van Dyk
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 101)


The herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and the related 2,4,5-trichloro- and 2-chloro-4-methylphenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T and MCPA, respectively), are selectively highly toxic to most annual and perennial dicotyledonous species and relatively nontoxic to monocotyledonous plants (Loos 1975a). The present review summarizes mainly recent developments on the microbial degradation of 2,4-D in soil. Cheng and Lehmann (1985) defined degradation as the process whereby a herbicide, for example, is transformed structurally by photochemical, chemical, and biochemical means and is mineralized eventually to CO2, water, and salts. However, under field conditions, the herbicide concentration at the site of application can be reduced, in addition to degradation, by such transfer processes as adsorption, leaching, surface run-off, volatilization and plant uptake, which leave the herbicide molecule intact (Weber et al. 1973). Transfer processes should not be confused with degradation (Cheng and Lehmann 1985) and the term degradation should not be confused with dissipation, which is a collective term describing the disappearance of the herbicide from soil by several pathways (Wagenet and Rao 1985).


Microbial Degradation Vanillic Acid Much Probable Number Phenoxy Herbicide Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. R. I. C. Sandmann
    • 1
  • M. A. Loos
    • 2
  • L. P. van Dyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Protection Research InstitutePretoriaRepublic of South Africa
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and VirologyUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschRepublic of South Africa

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