• earthworm (A. caliginosa);
  • isoproturon;
  • residues;
  • glycogen;
  • total soluble protein;
  • glycogen


This study was conducted to determine the residues of isoproturon and its metabolites, 1-(4-isopropylphenyl)-3-methylurea, 1-(4-isopropylphenyl) urea, and 4-isopropylanilin in soil and mature earthworms under laboratory conditions. Mature earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) were exposed for various durations (7, 15, 30, and 60 days) to soils contaminated with isoproturon concentrations (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mg kg−1 soil). The decrease in isoproturon concentration in the soil was inversely correlated to it's initial concentration. The highest concentration detected for isoproturon in earthworms was observed during the first 15 days and decreased thereafter. Acute toxicity of isoproturon was investigated; total soluble protein content and glycogen of the worms were evaluated. Levels of these parameters were related to isoproturon concentration in soil and earthworms. No lethal effect of isoproturon was observed even at the concentration of 1200 mg kg−1 soil after 60 days of exposure. A reduction of total soluble protein was observed in all treated worms (maximum 59.54%). This study suggests the use of the total soluble protein content and glycogen of earthworms as biomarkers of exposure to isoproturon. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2009.