Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 401–426 | Cite as

Glyphosate toxicity for animals

  • Jatinder Pal Kaur Gill
  • Nidhi Sethi
  • Anand Mohan
  • Shivika Datta
  • Madhuri Girdhar


Pesticides and herbicides gained popularity due to a strong need to curb the starvation of billions of humans. Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide and was considered to be non-toxic. But its use in excess in agricultural lands has polluted soils and waters. Nowadays, glyphosate residues are found in soil, water and food. As a result glyphosate causes severe acute and chronic toxicological effects. We review toxicological effects of glyphosate and metabolites on organisms of the kingdom animalia, both unicellular and multicellular organisms. Adverse effects on unicellular organisms have been established in many experiments. For instance, glyphosate has reduced the rate of photosynthesis in Euglena, has decreased the radial growth of mycorrhizal fungal species and is also reducing the profusion of certain bacteria present in rhizospheric microbial communities. Glyphosate poses serious threat to multicellular organisms as well. Its toxicological effects have been traced from lower invertebrates to higher vertebrates. Effects have been observed in annelids (earthworms), arthropods (crustaceans and insects), mollusks, echinoderms, fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Toxicological effects like genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, nuclear aberration, hormonal disruption, chromosomal aberrations and DNA damage have also been observed in higher vertebrates like humans.


Glyphosate Toxicity Excessive use Herbicide Environmental contamination 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, School of Physical SciencesLovely Professional UniversityPhagwaraIndia
  2. 2.Chemistry DepartmentDM CollegeMogaIndia
  3. 3.School of Bioengineering and BiosciencesLovely Professional UniversityPhagwaraIndia
  4. 4.Department of BiotechnologyCT Group of InstitutionJalandharIndia

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