Effect of soil metal contamination on glyphosate mineralization: Role of zinc in the mineralization rates of two copper-spiked mineral soils



A systematic investigation into lowered degradation rates of glyphosate in metal-contaminated soils was performed by measuring mineralization of [14C]glyphosate to 14CO2 in two mineral soils that had been spiked with Cu and/or Zn at various loadings. Cumulative 14CO2 release was estimated to be approximately 6% or less of the amount of [14C]glyphosate originally added in both soils over an 80-d incubation. For all but the highest Cu treatments (400 mg kg−1) in the coarse-textured Arkport soil, mineralization began without a lag phase and declined over time. No inhibition of mineralization was observed for Zn up to 400 mg kg−1 in either soil, suggesting differential sensitivity of glyphosate mineralization to the types of metal and soil. Interestingly, Zn appeared to alleviate high-Cu inhibition of mineralization in the Arkport soil. The protective role of Zn against Cu toxicity was also observed in the pure culture study with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, suggesting that increased mineralization rates in high Cu soil with Zn additions might have been due to alleviation of cellular toxicity by Zn rather than a mineralization specific mechanism. Extensive use of glyphosate combined with its reduced degradation in Cu-contaminated, coarse-textured soils may increase glyphosate persistence in soil and consequently facilitate Cu and glyphosate mobilization in the soil environment. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:596–601. © 2011 SETAC