Organic mercury compounds

  • N. N. Melnikov


Mercuric chloride and other inorganic compounds of mercury, because of their high microbiological activity, have been used for many decades in medicine. The fungicidal properties of mercuric chloride with respect to phytopathological fungi were discovered the end of the nineteenth century, and it has since been used to protect plants from diseases. However, its high toxicity to man, animals, and plants made it necessary to seek more active and safer compounds for use in agriculture. Investigation of various mercury derivatives of the aliphatic, alicyclic, aromatic, and heterocyclic series has shown that organomercury compounds considerably surpass the inorganic compounds of this metal in bactericidal and fungicidal effect. Also, organomercury compounds have a favorable chemotherapeutic index, i. e. the concentration that kills plant disease organisms is many times less than the concentration dangerous to the plants. Moreover, many organomercury compounds at the concentrations used not only are harmless to plants, but even stimulate their growth. Sometimes the stimulation is so great that it leads to a substantial increase in yield.


Mercuric Chloride Mercury Compound Mercuric Acetate Metallic Mercury Mercury Salt 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. N. Melnikov
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MoscowRussia

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