e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 47 (2) May. 2024 / JTAS-2815-2023


Screening of Atrazine Tolerant Aquatic Plant and Roles of Plant Growth Regulators on Plant Growth and Atrazine Tolerance

Khanitta Somtrakoon and Waraporn Chouychai

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 47, Issue 2, May 2024


Keywords: Atrazine, Azolla, herbicide, phytoremediation, plant growth regulator

Published on: 30 May 2024

The extensive use of atrazine to control weeds in agricultural areas has contaminated atrazine in surface water and groundwater. Atrazine contamination in water resources causes human health concerns. Thus, this study investigated the possible use of aquatic plants for removing atrazine from contaminated water. The experiment was performed under plant nursery conditions and divided into two parts: (1) the atrazine-tolerant plants were screened, and (2) the most atrazine-tolerant plant was used for atrazine phytoremediation stimulated by plant growth regulators. The results showed that atrazine was toxic to all aquatic plants, as the dry weight of the plants was significantly decreased when exposed to 20 mg/L of atrazine (P<0.05). Based on five aquatic plants grown under 2.5–20 mg/L atrazine-contaminated water, Azolla microphylla Kaulf. was the most tolerant aquatic plant and was more suitable for use in atrazine phytoremediation than the other aquatic plants (Ceratophyllum demersum L., Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, Hydrilla verticillata (L. f.) Royle, and Salvinia cucullata Roxb. ex Bory). The total chlorophyll, carotenoid, and proline contents in the biomass of A. microphylla cultured in 2.5–20 mg/L of atrazine did not significantly differ between the atrazine concentrations (P>0.05). Meanwhile, the proline contents in the other four aquatic plants increased with increasing atrazine concentrations, and the chlorophyll content significantly decreased with an increase in the atrazine concentration. However, A. microphylla could not remove atrazine from contaminated water, and the application of plant growth regulators (6-benzyladenine, gibberellic acid, indole-3-butyric acid, and salicylic acid) did not improve the atrazine removal from water. Atrazine in the water was around 21–26 mg/L on day five of A. microphylla cultivation compared to the initial concentration (25 mg/L). Using a plant growth regulator was ineffective for stimulating growth and atrazine removal by A. microphylla. Future research should explore other potential mechanisms for enhancing atrazine removal by A. microphylla.

  • Ábrahám, E., Hourton-Cabassa, C., Erdei, L., & Szabados, L. (2010). Methods for determination of proline in plants. In R. Sunkar (Ed.), Plant stress tolerance: Methods in molecular biology (Vol. 639, pp. 317-331). Humana Press.

  • Almasi, H., Takdastan, A., Jaafarzadeh, N., Babaei, A. A., Birgani, Y. T., Cheraghian, B., Saki, A., & Jorf, S. (2020). Spatial distribution, ecological and health risk assessment and source identification of atrazine in Shadegan international wetland, Iran. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160, 111569.

  • Almberg, K. S., Turyk, M. E., Jones, R. M., Rankin, K., Freels, S., & Stayner, L. T. (2018). Atrazine contamination of drinking water and adverse birth outcomes in community water systems with elevated atrazine in Ohio, 2006-2008. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(9), 1889.

  • Ansari, A. A., Naeem, N., Gill, S. S., & AlZuaibr, F. M. (2020). Phytoremediation of contaminated waters: An eco-friendly technology based on aquatic macrophytes application. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research, 46(4), 371-376.

  • Aungudornpukdee, P. (2019). Pesticide use and environmental contamination a study in Khao Koh District, Phetchabun Province, Thailand. Journal of Health Research, 33(2), 173-182.

  • Bates, L. S., Waldren R. P., & Teare I. D. (1973). Rapid determination of free proline for water stress studies. Plant and Soil, 39, 205-207.

  • Bibi, S., Khan, S., Taimur, N., Daud, M. K., & Azizullah, A. (2019). Responses of morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics of maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings to atrazine stress. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191, 717.

  • Din, B. U., Amna., Rafiquee, M., Javed, M. T., Kamran, M. A., Mehmood, S., Khan, M., Sultan, T., Munis, M. F. H., & Chaudhary, H. J. (2020). Assisted phytoremediation of chromium spiked soils by Sesbania sesban in association with Bacillus xiamenensis PM14: A biochemical analysis. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 146, 249-258.

  • Emamverdian, A., Ding, Y., & Mokhberdoran, F. (2020). The role of salicylic acid and gibberellin signaling in plant responses to abiotic stress with an emphasis on heavy metals. Plants Signaling and Behavior, 15(7), 1777372.

  • Gao, Y., Fang, J., Zhang, J., Ren, L., Mao, Y., Li, B., Zhang, M., Liu, D., & Du, M. (2011). The impact of the herbicide atrazine on growth and photosynthesis of seagrass, Zostera marina (L.), seedlings. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62(8), 1628-1631.

  • Harnroongroj, T., Leelaporn, A., Limsrivanichayakorn, S., Kaewdaeng, S., & Harnroongroj, T. (2012). Comparison of bacterial count in tap water between first burst and running tap water. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 95(5), 712-715.

  • He, H., Liu, Y., You, S., Liu, J., Xiao, H., & Tu, Z. (2019). A review on recent treatment technology for herbicide atrazine in contaminated environment. International Journal of Research and Public Health, 16(24), 5129.

  • He, Y., Zhang, T., Sun, Y., Wang, X., Cao, Q., Fang, Z., Chang, M., Cai, Q., & Luo, Q. (2022). Exogenous IAA alleviates arsenic toxicity to rice and reduces arsenic accumulation in rice grains. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 41, 734-741.

  • Khan, M. I. R., Iqbal, N., Masood, A., Per, T. S. & Khan, N. A. (2013) Salicylic acid alleviates adverse effects of heat stress on photosynthesis through changes in proline production and ethylene formation. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 8(11), e26374.

  • Khan, M. I. R., Jahan, B., AlAjmi, M. F., Rehman, M. T., Iqbal, N., Irfan, M., Sehar, Z., & Khan, N. A. (2021). Crosstalk of plant growth regulators protects photosynthetic performance from arsenic damage by modulating defense systems in rice. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 222, 112535.

  • Kiani, R., Arzani, A., & Mirmohammady Maibody, S. A. M. (2021). Polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant activity involved in salt tolerance in wheat, Aegilops rica and their amphidiploids. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 646221.

  • Kooh, M. R. R., Lim, L. B. L., Lim, L.-H., & Malik, O. A. (2018). Phytoextraction potential of water fern (Azolla pinnata) in the removal of a hazardous dye, methyl violet 2B: Artificial neural network modeling. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 20(5), 424-431.

  • Kopsell, D. A., Armel, G. R., Mueller, T. C., Sams, C. E., Deyton, D. E., Mcelroy, J. S., & Kopsell, D. E. (2009). Increase in nutritionally important sweet corn kernel carotenoids following mesotrione and atrazine applications. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(14), 6362-6368.

  • Kumari, A., & Pandey-Rai, S. (2018). Enhanced arsenic tolerance and secondary metabolism by modulation of gene expression and proteome profile in Artemisia annua L. after application of exogenous salicylic acid. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 132, 590-602.

  • Lertcanawanichakul, M., Chawawisit, K., & Hiransai, P. (2019). Biological activities of extracts from some local plants in Pakpanang, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province: Antioxidant and antibacterial activity. Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya Research Journal, 11(2), 279-289.

  • Li, S.-W., Zeng, X.-Y., Leng, Y., Feng, L., & Kang, X.-H. (2018). Indole-3-butyric acid mediates antioxidative defense systems to promote adventitious rooting in mung bean seedlings under cadmium and drought stresses. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 161, 332-341.

  • Lichtenthaler, H. K. (1987). Chlorophylls and carotenoids: Pigments of photosynthetic biomembranes. In R. Douce & L. Packer (Eds.), Methods in enzymology (Vol. 148, pp. 350-382). Academic Press.

  • Marecik, R., Białas, W., Cyplik, P., Ławniczak, Ł., & Chrzanowski, Ł. (2012). Phytoremediation potential of three wetlands plant species toward atrazine in environmentally relevant concentrations. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 21(3), 697-702.

  • Munch, J. W. (Ed.) (1995). Determination of chlorinated pesticides in water by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Nagar, S., Singh, V. P., Arora, A., Dhakar, R., Singh, N., Singh, G. P., Meena, S., Kumar, S., & Shiv Ramakrishnan, R. (2021). Understanding the role of gibberellic acid and paclobutrazol in terminal heat stress tolerance in wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 692252.

  • Pérez, D. J., Doucette, W. J., & Moore, M. T. (2022). Atrazine uptake, translocation, bioaccumulation and biodegradation in cattail (Typha latifolia) as a function of exposure time. Chemosphere, 287(Part 1), 132104.

  • Phewnil, O., Panichsakpatana, S., Tungkananuruk, N., & Pitiyont, B. (2010). Atrazine transport from the maize (Zea mays L.) cultivated upland soil in Huay Kapo Watershed, Nam Nao District, Phetchabun Province, Thailand. Thai Journal of Agricultural Science, 43(3), 119-127.

  • Phewnil, O.-A., Tungkananurak, N., Panichsakpatana, S., Pitiyont, B., Siripat, N., & Watanabe, H. (2012). The residues of atrazine herbicide in stream water and stream sediment in Huay Kapo Watershed, Phetchabun Province, Thailand. Environment and Natural Resources Journal, 10(1), 42-52.

  • Phonprapai, C., & Oontawee, S. (2019). Development of extraction process for preparing high antioxidant extracts from Thai herbs. Thai Journal of Science and Technology, 8(5), 479-492.

  • Piotrowska-Niczyporuk, A., Bajguza, A., Zambrzycka-Szelewab, E., & Bralska, M. (2018). Exogenously applied auxins and cytokinins ameliorate lead toxicity by inducing antioxidant defense system in green alga Acutodesmus obliquus. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 132, 535-546.

  • Rahman, S. U., Li, Y., Hussain, S., Hussain, B., Khan, W.-u.-D., Riaz, L., Ashraf, M. N., Khaliq, M. A., Du, Z., & Cheng, H. (2023). Role of phytohormones in heavy metal tolerance in plants: A review. Ecological Indicators, 146, 109844.

  • Rai, P. K. (2008). Technical note: Phytoremediation of Hg and Cd from industrial effluents using an aquatic free floating macrophyte Azolla pinnata. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 10(5), 430-439.

  • Ratchawang, S., Chotpantarat, S., & Charoenrojying, P. (2022). Assessment of atrazine migration in soil and groundwater using nitrate as an indicator in an intensively cultivated sugarcane field, Suphan Buri Province, Thailand. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10, 855599.

  • Riaz, G., Tabinda, A. B., Iqbal, S., Yasar, A., Abbas, M., Khan, A. M., Mahfooz, Y., & Baqar, M. (2017). Phytoremediation of organochlorine and pyrethroid pesticides by aquatic macrophytes and algae in freshwater systems. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 19(10), 894-898.

  • Rostami, S., Jafari, S., Moeini, Z., Jaskulak, M., Keshtgar, L., Badeenezhad, A., Azhdarpoor, A., Rostami, M., Zorena, K., & Dehghani, M. (2021). Current methods and technologies for degradation of atrazine in contaminated soil and water: A review. Environmental Technology and Innovation, 24, 102019.

  • Salem, R. E. M. E., & El-Sobki, A. E. A. (2021). Physiological and biochemical parameters as an index for herbicides damage in wheat plants. Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences, 13(2), 25-35.

  • Sánchez, V., López-Bellido, F. J., Cañizares, P., & Rodríguez, L. (2017). Assessing the phytoremediation potential of crop and grass plants for atrazine-spiked soils. Chemosphere, 185, 119-126.

  • Sardoei, A. S., & Rahbarian, P. (2014). Effect of different media on chlorophyll and carotenoids of ornamental plants under system mist. European Journal of Experimental Biology, 4(2), 366-369.

  • Shi, G. R., Cai, Q. S., Liu, Q. Q., & Wu, L. (2009). Salicylic acid-mediated alleviation of cadmium toxicity in hemp plants in relation to cadmium uptake, photosynthesis, and antioxidant enzymes. Acta Physiologia Plantarum, 31, 969-977.

  • Siddiqui, M. H., Al-Whaibi, M. H., & Basalah, M. O. (2011). Interactive effect of calcium and gibberellin on nickel tolerance in relation to antioxidant systems in Triticum aestivum L. Protoplasma, 248, 503-511.

  • Singh, S., Kumar, V., Chauhan, A., Datta, S., Wani, A. B., Singh, N., & Singh, J. (2018). Toxicity, degradation and analysis of the herbicide atrazine. Environmental Chemistry Letters, 16, 211-237.

  • Šípošová, K., Labancová, E., Kuˇcerová, D., Kollárová, K., & Vivodová, Z. (2021). Effects of exogenous application of indole-3-butyric acid on maize plants cultivated in the presence or absence of cadmium. Plants, 10(11), 2503.

  • Sood, A., Uniyal, P. L., Prasanna, R., & Ahluwalia, A. S. (2012). Phytoremediation potential of aquatic macrophyte, Azolla. Ambio, 41, 122-137.

  • Steffens, C., Ballen, S. C., Scapin, E., da Silva, D. M., Steffens, J., & Jacques, R. A. (2022). Advances of nanobiosensors and its application in atrazine detection in water: A review. Sensors and Actuators Reports, 4, 100096.

  • Sun, J. T., Pan, L. L., Zhan, Y., Tsang, D. C. W., Zhu, L. Z., & Li, X. D. (2017). Atrazine contamination in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta of China and associated health risks. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 39, 369-378.

  • Thitiphuree, T., Kitana, J., Varanusupakul, P., & Kitana, N. (2013). Atrazine contamination and potential health effects on freshwater mussel Uniandra contradens living in agricultural catchment at Nan Province, Thailand. EnvironmentAsia, 6(1), 13-18.

  • Wang, J., Wang, D., Zhu, M., & Li, F. (2021). Exogenous 6-benzyladenine improves waterlogging tolerance in maize seedlings by mitigating oxidative stress and upregulating the ascorbate-glutathione cycle. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 680376.

  • Wang, Q., Zhang, W., Li, C., & Xiao, B. (2012). Phytoremediation of atrazine by three Emergent hydrophytes in a hydroponic system. Water Science & Technology, 66(6), 1282-1288.

  • Wu, X., He, J., Chen, J., Yang, S., & Zha, D. (2014). Alleviation of exogenous 6-benzyladenine on two genotypes of eggplant (Solanum melongena Mill.) growth under salt stress. Protoplasma, 251, 169-176.

  • Yang, L., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Effects of atrazine and its two major derivatives on the photosynthetic physiology and carbon sequestration potential of a marine diatom. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 205, 111359.

  • Yang, L., Li, H., Zhang, Y., & Jiao, N. (2019). Environmental risk assessment of triazine herbicides in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea and their toxicity to phytoplankton at environmental concentrations. Environment International, 133(Part A), 105175.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles