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Degradation and sorption of 2-propenyl and benzyl isothiocyanate in soil

Gimsing, Anne L., Strobel, Bjarne W., Hansen, Hans C.B.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2009 v.28 no.6 pp. 1178-1184
degradation, benzyl isothiocyanate, glucosinolates, pesticides, chemical constituents of plants, hydrolysis, soil organic matter, Brassica, A horizons, B horizons, sandy soils, loam soils
Isothiocyanates of natural origin produced by the hydrolysis of plant-produced glucosinolates have the potential to control soil pests, but getting sufficiently high isothiocyanate concentrations in soil is difficult. Furthermore, the isothiocyanates have proven toxic to a wide range of organisms and hence may also harm nontarget organisms. Knowledge of the sorption and degradation of the isothiocyanates is essential to optimize the use of natural isothiocyanates for pest control while minimizing the environmental impact. We have conducted studies on the sorption and degradation of two isothiocyanates of natural origin, 2-propenyl isothiocyanate and benzyl isothiocyanate. The experiments show the isothiocyanates degrade very quickly (t(1/2) = 0.93-4.25 h) in a 1:1 soil water slurry at 25°C and they are sorbed by the organic matter in soil. From an environmental point of view, a fast degradation is desirable, but if the natural isothiocyanates are to be utilized for pest control, a fast degradation may imply they are not present long enough to have the desired effect on pests.