Toxicity of single and combined herbicides on PSII maximum efficiency of an aquatic higher plant, Lemna sp.


The present study examined the effect of single and binary mixtures of four herbicides, namely, atrazine, diuron, simazine and hexazinone on the maximum quantum efficiency of photosynthesis (Fv/Fm) of Lemna sp. after 96 h of exposure. When applied singly, the toxicity ranking of the four herbicides was as follows: diuron>hexazinone>atrazine>simazine. Binary combinations of these toxicants revealed varying inhibition values; for example, the combination of low diuron concentration with both high and low concentrations of hexazinone resulted in a synergistic effect, with mean ratio of inhibition (RI) values ranging from 1.13±0.10 to 1.16±0.08. The combination of diuron with atrazine revealed an additive effect at low diuron levels (0.025 mg L−1) and high atrazine levels (0.1 mg L−1) with an RI value of 1.06±0.07. Our study emphasizes on the utility of combined toxicity models in predicting the toxicological impact of herbicide mixtures on aquatic ecosystems. Overall, this study provides valuable information on the chlorophyll fluorescence of Lemna sp. as a bioanalytical tool for the rapid and inexpensive assessment of photosystem II (PSII) inhibiting herbicide mixtures.

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Correspondence to Taejun Han.

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Suresh Kumar, K., Han, T. Toxicity of single and combined herbicides on PSII maximum efficiency of an aquatic higher plant, Lemna sp.. Toxicol. Environ. Health Sci. 3, 97–105 (2011).

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  • Chlorophyll a fluorescence
  • Fv/Fm
  • Herbicides
  • I-PAM
  • Lemna sp.
  • Photosynthesis
  • Toxicity