Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 171–178 | Cite as

Enantioselective effect of glufosinate on the growth of maize seedlings

  • Quan Zhang
  • Qingmiao Cui
  • Siqing Yue
  • Zhengbiao Lu
  • Meirong Zhao
Research Article


Glufosinate is a non-selective chiral herbicide, which has been used extensively around the world. However, limited information on the enantioselectivity of Rac- and L-glufosinate against crops. In this study, the enantioselective effects on the growth, antioxidant, and targeted enzyme activities of maize seedlings of chiral glufosinate were investigated. The results showed the enantioselective growth inhibitions were observed at both 1 and 5 mg/L concentration levels. l-Glufosinate induced more growth rate reduction in shoot height and weight compared to Rac-glufosinate. All of the antioxidant enzyme activities increased obviously in the leaves of maize seedlings treated by 1 mg/L of glufosinate. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, catalase (CAT) activity, peroxidase (POD) activity, glutathione reductase (GR) activity, and malondialdehyde (MDA) content induced by l-glufosinate were 1.36, 1.16, 1.51, 1.65, and 1.65 times higher than those by Rac-glufosinate, respectively Notably, the glutamine synthetase (GS) activity was significantly reduced to 80% and 57% in the control group at 1 mg/L treated with Rac- and l-glufosinate, respectively. Our results indicated that Rac- and l-glufosinate showed the obvious enantioselectivity in the growth of maize seedlings, which has shed light on the potential enantioselective phytotoxicity of glufosinate. Data provided here will be helpful to develop the environmentally friendly herbicides.


Enantioselectivity Rac- and l-glufosinate Maize seedlings Antioxidative enzymes Glutamine synthetase 


Funding information

This study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0200202) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21777147).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3576_MOESM1_ESM.docx (127 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 126 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quan Zhang
    • 1
  • Qingmiao Cui
    • 1
  • Siqing Yue
    • 1
  • Zhengbiao Lu
    • 1
  • Meirong Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology for Industrial Pollution Control of Zhejiang Province, College of EnvironmentZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina

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