Evidence for photolytic and microbial degradation processes in the dissipation of leptospermone, a natural β-triketone herbicide

Abstract

Bioherbicides appear as an ecofriendly alternative to synthetic herbicides, generally used for weed management, because they are supposed to have low side on human health and ecosystems. In this context, our work aims to study abiotic (i.e., photolysis) and biotic (i.e,. biodegradation) processes involved in the fate of leptospermone, a natural β-triketone herbicide, by combining chemical and microbiological approaches. Under controlled conditions, the photolysis of leptospermone was sensitive to pH. Leptospermone has a half-life of 72 h under simulated solar light irradiations. Several transformation products, including hydroxy-leptospermone, were identified. For the first time, a bacterial strain able to degrade leptospermone was isolated from an arable soil. Based on its 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence, it was affiliated to the Methylophilus group and was accordingly named as Methylophilus sp. LS1. Interestingly, we report that the abundance of OTUs, similar to the 16S rRNA gene sequence of Methylophilus sp. LS1, was strongly increased in soil treated with leptospermone. The leptospermone was completely dissipated by this bacteria, with a half-life time of 6 days, allowing concomitantly its growth. Hydroxy-leptospermone was identified in the bacterial culture as a major transformation product, allowing us to propose a pathway of transformation of leptospermone including both abiotic and biotic processes.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the “Agence National de la Recherche” under TRICETOX project, number ANR-13-CESA-0002. The authors would like to thank David Riboul (INPT, ENSIACET, Université de Toulouse) for helpful analysis.

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Correspondence to Lise Barthelmebs.

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Romdhane, S., Devers-Lamrani, M., Martin-Laurent, F. et al. Evidence for photolytic and microbial degradation processes in the dissipation of leptospermone, a natural β-triketone herbicide. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 29848–29859 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9728-4

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Keywords

  • Bioherbicides
  • Leptospermone
  • Photodegradation
  • Biodegradation
  • Transformation products
  • Methylophilus sp. LS1