Toxicity of Diuron, Diquat and Terbutryn to Cyanobacterial Mats


  • Yasser El-Nahhal The Islamic University-Gaza
  • Salah Kerkez IUGaza
  • Zeyad Abu Heen IUGAZA



This study investigated acute toxicity of Diuron, Diquat and Terbutryn to cyanobacterial mats collected from Wadi Gaza, Palestine. Toxicity was measured by the reduction of population growth of cyanobacterial mats exposed to various herbicide concentrations in the range of 0-15.44 μmole L-1. Optical density of cyanobacterial suspension was recorded using a spectrophotometer at 680 nm from time zero up to 8 days and taken as an indicator of growth. EC50 and ET50 values were estimated using linear regression equations. Results showed that cyanobacterial mats adapted and grew fast under laboratory conditions. The toxicity of Diuron, Terbutryn and Diquat reached 89.35, 76.02 and 71.24%, respectively. Toxicity of binary mixtures (Diuron and Diquat) decreased from 77.35% to 65.33% due to the reduction of Diuron concentration in the mixture. EC50 values for Diuron, Terbutryn and Diquat were 0.009, 0.031and 0.381 μmole L-1 whereas ET50 values were 32.32, 35.89 and 23.45 h, respectively. EC50 values of binary mixtures (B1-B3) were 0.004, 0.01 and 0.012 toxicity units. Tertiary mixtures (T1-T7) had a wide range of EC50 (0.043-2.9E-07) TUs. The mixture toxicity index (MTI) had positive and negative value in mixtures, indicating synergetic and antagonistic effects. Application of the above-mentioned herbicides may severely damage the ecosystem. Our results are the first of its kind in the region and may be considered as a guideline for future studies.




How to Cite

El-Nahhal, Y., Kerkez, S., & Abu Heen, Z. (2015). Toxicity of Diuron, Diquat and Terbutryn to Cyanobacterial Mats. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Contamination, 10(1), 71–82.



Original Articles