Review Article | Volume 11, Issue 5, September, 2023

Effects of herbicide on various life forms with special reference to the paddy fields in the Eastern Belts of India

Tripti Kanda Rupanshee Srivastava Sadhana Yadav Nidhi Singh Rajesh Prajapati Shivam Yadav Rajeev Mishra Neelam Atri   

Open Access   

Published:  Aug 10, 2023

DOI: 10.7324/JABB.2023.11505
Abstract

Rice constitutes the most dominant segment of food consumed by the people of India. In modern agriculture practice, it is cultivated by the assistance of agrochemicals called herbicides. The herbicides tend to eradicate the weed infestation in the paddy fields and are known to be the most efficient tool to obtain a high yield of crop. However, their excessive use in the agriculture fields initiates the occurrence of deleterious effects in paddy fields by inhibiting the activity of cyanobacteria, as they consist of several physiological characteristics of vascular plants, which form the site of herbicide action. The agrochemicals influence the activity of enzymes, photosynthetic process, and nitrogen-fixing ability of microbial cell. Percolation of the same to nearby water bodies tends to negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem. These chemicals bring about biochemical, pathological, physiological, and genetic manipulations in humans by accumulating in the food chain. This review attempts to impart an overall understanding on toxic effect of herbicides on various life forms with a noteworthy focus on paddy crops grown in the eastern belts of India.


Keyword:     Herbicides Paddy fields Cyanobacteria Photosynthetic machinery Toxicity


Citation:

Kanda T, Srivastava R, Yadav S, Singh N, Prajapati R, Yadav S, Mishra R, Atri N. Effects of herbicide on various life forms with special reference to the paddy fields in the Eastern Belts of India. J App Biol Biotech. 2023;11(5):47-52. https://doi.org/10.7324/JABB.2023.11505

Copyright: Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

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1. INTRODUCTION

Herbicides are frequently applied agrochemicals to initiate the growth and yield of crops. They are regarded as a coherent tool for controlling numerous odious weed species present around the cultured crop. They are comparatively more economical than hand weeding as it resolves the problem of labor. Weed control in paddy cultivation is a critical issue. It was assessed that weed share nearly 45% of the total yearly loss of agricultural output in India [1]. They are systematically classified based on the degree of selectivity, site of action, time of application, method of application, mode of action, and translocation [Figure 1]. There are various types of herbicides used in paddy fields in India. Each family of herbicide has a unique weed control range. They interact or interfere with weeds through different inhibition pathways such as amino acid synthesis inhibition, lipid synthesis inhibition, and photosynthesis inhibition [2]. The activity of herbicides also depends on soil and environment-born factors such as temperature, moisture, and microbes. Moreover, photodegradation, chemical degradation, and microbial degradation interfere with the activity of herbicides. Hence, it is essential to correlate the soil, environment, and herbicide-born factors before applying it on the agriculture fields.

Figure 1: Diagrammatic representation based on the classification of herbicides.



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Paddy is the major staple crops overloaded with the starch. The microbes responsible for the growth of paddy crops are cyanobacteria. They are often regarded as natural biofertilizers [3]. They have capacity to degrade herbicides, enrich soil with organic matter, extracellular polysaccharide, vitamins, and hormones and increase the water-holding capacity of the soil [4,5]. Predominant microflora present in the paddy fields is Aulosira, Anabaena, Spirulina, Anabaenopsis, Calothrix, Gloeocapsa sp., Anacystis, Nostoc, Cylindro spermum, Fischereila, Hapalosiphon, and Tolypothrix. The Eastern Belts of India are the major contributor of rice which includes states like Assam, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal [Table 1]. The application of herbicide cause indiscriminate damage to the paddy field because only a minor portion of applied herbicides actually outreaches the cultivated crop, while a significant portion is discharged into the surrounding ecosystem, potentially having detrimental effects on ecologically important non-target species [6].

Table 1: The state wise list of herbicides used in the rice fields in Eastern Belts of India [48].

StatesHerbicides
Assam2,4-D, Butachlor, Paraquat, Pretilachlor
Chhattisgarh2,4-D, Butachlor, Paraquat, Pretilachlor, Anilofos
Bihar and Jharkhand2,4-D, Paraquat, Pretilachlor, Anilofos
West Bengal and Sikkim2,4-D, Butachlor, Paraquat, Pretilachlor

2. TOXIC EFFECTS OF VARIOUS HERBICIDES USED IN THE PADDY FIELDS

Rice is the most essential food crop grown and consumed all around the globe. They are easily affected by pest, which reduces the overall yield of the crop. To solve this problem several selective and non-selective, pre- and post-emergent inorganic chemical fertilizers are being used at recommended doses. The overreliance and overuse of these inorganic chemical fertilizers tend to pollute the soil and non-target crops by influencing the ability of plant growth promoting microbes and nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria [7]. It may add substantial amount of residual product in the soil ecosystem [8] leading to severe ecological consequences. They also interact and interfere with the aquatic ecosystem through surface runoff and seepage into the water bodies [9]. The herbicides mostly accumulate in the food chain [10] and have been reported to induce mutation and cancer in humans [11]. There are several herbicides applied commonly in the paddy fields all-around the states belonging to Eastern Belts of India [Table 2].

Table 2: Addressing toxicological impacts of several pesticides utilized in the paddy fields of Eastern Belts of India on cyanobacterial proliferation.

S. No.HerbicideChemical FamilyChemical NameTrade NameSpeciesEffectReferences
1.2,4-DPhenoxy2,4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic acidBarrage, Plantgard, lawn-keep, malerbane, weedex, aqua-kleen and weedoneAnabaena fertilissima, Aulosira fertilissima, Aulosira fertilissima and Westiellopsis prolificaChlorophyll, Carotenoid, Phycobilin, Carbohydrate and protein content.[15]
Spirulina platensisChlorophyll content, growth and development[16]
2.ButachlorAmideN×-(butoxymethyl) -2-chloro-2 ×, 6×- diethylacetani-lide.Machete, Butanex, Butataf, Dhanuchlor, Farmachlor and HiltaklorAulosira fertilissimaPhotosynthetic process[23]
3.PretilachlorChloroacetanilide2-chloro-N- (2,6—diethlyphenyl) -N-(2-Propoxyethly) acetamideRifit, Pretiherb, Remove, Erase, Prince, Offset, Tatapreet, Hifit, Blade, Sureshot, Shriram pretilachlor, Alchor, Pretit and PilotSynechocycystis sp.Growth , soluble proteins , photosynthetic pigment content, photosynthetic process, respiration activity and nitrogen status[28]
Anabaena sp. and Nostoc sp.Photosynthetic pigment content, and oxidative stress.[29]
Desmonostoc sp.Growth , nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, heterocyst, Nitrogenase and Glutathione reductase[30]
4.AniliofosOrganophosphorusS-4-Chloro- N-isopropyl carbaniloylmethyl-O, O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate.Aniloguard, Anilophos, Arozin and RicoAnabaena torulosaGrowth, photosynthetic pigments, photosynthetic pigments, respiration and nitrogen status[33]
Synechocystic sp.Photosynthetic pigments[34]
5.ParaquatBipyridylium1,1×- dimethyl-4,4 ×- bipyridinium dichlorideGramoxone and viologenNostoc hatei and Anabaena luteaDry mass, chlorophyll a and phycocyanin content[41]
Chlorella vulgarisChlorophyll a, b and oxidative stress[44]

3. 2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXYACETIC ACID

One of the extensively utilized herbicide in the paddy fields is 2,4-D. It belong member of the phenoxy family [12]. It is a selective herbicide, sensitive to change in pH and temperature. It is applied to control the problem of broadleaf weed infestation in rice fields [13]. The high concentration of 2,4-D influence the activity of many photosynthetic and nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria [14]. It was reported that the exposure of three strains of filamentous-heterocyst forming cyanobacteria Anabaena fertilissima, Aulosira fertilissima, and Westiellopsis prolific to different concentration, that is, 60 ppm, 80 ppm, and 120 ppm, respectively, leads to reduction in carbohydrate, amino acid, and pigment content of the cell [15]. It induced damaging effects on growth and pigment content in cyanobacteria Spirulina platensis [16]. It is reported to decrease the organic carbon content and the dehydrogenase activity (DHA) of the soil [17]. Hence, its application in paddy field reduces the overall quality and yield of rice [18]. Due to its overuse, it had been reported to cause cancer in human [19]. Moreover, severe damaging symptoms were also visible on fish Channa punctatus, at 25–75 mg/mL concentration causing micronucleus inhibition [20].


4. BUTACHLOR

Butachlor is the member of Chloroacetanilide family. It is widely applied as pre-emergent, systematic herbicide used for the growth of paddy crops [21]. It suppress nitrogenase, nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase activities in Nostoc muscorum while fluctuate photosynthetic efficiency in both Gloeocapsa sp. and Nostoc muscorum [22].The accumulation of 65µM of butachlor caused a decline in the photosynthetic efficacy by 24–48% in strain A. fertilissima after 15 days application [23]. Furthermore, butachlor has been reported to inhibit the growth and reproduction of the earthworm Eisenia fetida. [24] and Perionyx sansibaricus [25]. It also leads to DNA damage, affects survival, development, and metamorphosis stage in tadpole of frog Fejervarya limnocharis at high concentration [26]. The toxicity of butachlor on African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) at different concentrations of 1, 2, and 2.5 ppm impose oxidative stress notably on their kidney and liver cell [27]. Therefore, to protect cell from apoptosis, the enzymatic scavengers play a crucial role [Figure 2] [28].

Figure 2: Diagrammatic representation of site of action of Butachlor in catfish [27].



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5. PRETILACHLOR

Pretilachlor is the member of Chloroacetanilide family. It widely used in paddy fields as pre-emergent and early post-emergence herbicide. It is used to manage broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses. The high concentration of pretilachlor decrease growth, soluble proteins, photosynthetic pigments content (chlorophyll a, carotenoids, phycocyanin, allophycocyanin, and phycoerythrin), photosynthetic process, respiration activity, and nitrogen status in a dose dependent (10,15 and 20 mgL-1) manner in unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. [29]. The exposure of light intensity (suboptimum, 25 µM photon m-² s-¹) at different dose of pretilachlor (3 µg/mL and 6 µg/mL) act as a limiting factor on the growth of cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. and N. muscorum, it decline the photosynthetic pigment content and induce oxidative stress notably during sub optimal light intensity. However, Anabaena sp. was more severely damaged than N. muscorum [30]. The successive decline in the growth, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, heterocyst formation, nitrogenase (10 ppm), and glutathione synthetase activity of cyanobacteria Desmonostoc muscorum PUPCCC405.10 was reported at different graded concentration above 2.5–15 ppm [31].

The accumulation of pretilachlor is reported to pollute aquatic ecosystem by triggering various behavioral changes such as buccal movement, feeding attempts, and swimming speed in Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus) fish [32].


6. ANILOFOS

Anilofos is member of organophosphate family. It is extensively applied as a pre-emergent and early post-emergent herbicide to manage annual grasses, sedges, and some broad-leaved weeds in transplanted and direct seeded rice crops [33].

The treatment of anilofos at concentration of 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, and 10.0 mg/L successively affected the growth, photosynthetic pigments, photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen status and activated stress enzyme in heterocyst forming photoautotrophic cyanobacterium Anabaena torulosa [34]. Its exposure in concentration dependent manner (5, 10, and 20 mg/L) declines the level of photosynthetic pigments trigger oxidative stress in the Synechocystis sp. [35]. Moreover, the toxicity of anilofos has been well assessed in rats [36]; it was reported to showcase noteworthy retardation in embryo growth in pregnant rats [37]. Moreover, it leads to cytotoxic and genotoxic effect in human cells [38].


7. PARAQUAT

Paraquat is member of bipyridylium chemical family. It is a non-selective, post-emergent herbicide applied to eradicate broadleaf weeds [39]. It prevents the formation of NADP to NADPH in the Photosystem I and inhibits the conversion of active oxygen to molecular oxygen which in turn triggers the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the chloroplast [40] [Figure 3]. Thereby, it is significantly used in the cultivation of paddy fields surrounding the eastern belts of India.

Figure 3: Diagrammatic representation of Paraquat Site of Action (Co-Q: Co- enzyme Q, Pq: Plastoquinone, Cyt b6: Cytochrome b6, Pc: Plastocyanin, FRS: Ferrodoxin reducing substances, Fd: Ferredoxin) [40].



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However, its exposure in dose dependent concentration is reported to cause severe toxicity such as decline in dry mass, chlorophyll a, and phycocyanin contents in two essential species of heterocyst forming cyanobacteria Nostoc hatei and Anabaena lutea [41], predominantly present in the paddy fields and is responsible for increasing the fertility of the soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen [42]. Moreover, the unicellular marine water algae Chlorella vulgaris reported to increase the growth of paddy crop [43] at different concentration (0.5 µM and 0.75 µM) of paraquat subsequently decreased the photosynthetic content (chlorophyll a, b) and induced the production of free radical scavenging enzymes [44]. Moreover, it shares a structural similarity with dopaminergic neurotoxin [45]. It is also reported to cause several neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease due to oxidative stress leading to neuronal cell death in humans [46]. Furthermore, the interaction of paraquat with dynamic α-synuclein protein increased their aggregation in the neurons of brain cells in mice and cause Parkinson’s disease [47].


8. CONCLUSION

Weed management is the primary concern of farmers. To eliminate the weeds for obtaining high yield and good quality crops there are several techniques being employed such as mechanical, chemical and biological. However, because of ease of application and cost effectiveness chemical methods remained the cornerstone in agricultural practices. However, its environmental and toxicological impacts on sustaining life cannot be ignored. This review article focuses on the residual effects of various herbicides persisting on paddy fields around the eastern belts of India. It also draws attention towards the unintentional side effects of herbicides on non-targeted life forms such as aquatic life, human beings and animals through surface run-off from the targeted fields. Subsequently, these synthetic chemicals alleviate burden on the environment by degrading the quality of soil and water. Furthermore, they tend to cause serious alteration in environment and trigger toxicity in the microbe. There overuse may emerge out as genotoxic, neurotoxic, and immunologic towards various life forms including human and animals. They accumulate in the waterbodies through surface runoff from the agricultural fields and influence the overall physiology of the aquatic life. Hence, it is essential to head on toward organic modes of farming. Organic farming aims to provide quality food and are source-efficient, animal-friendly, and socially responsible manner. For higher agricultural productivity, weed management strategies must be improved. As a result, we must use environmentally friendly weed-killing agents such as plant hormones or select herbicide-resistant crops. Herbicide safeners are another possibility. These are chemical mixture that are used in conjunction with herbicides to make them safer by lowering herbicide toxicity on crop plants and improving selectivity between agricultural crops and weed species that herbicides target.


9. AUTHORS’ CONTRIBUTIONS

All authors made noteworthy contributions to plan and design, acquisition of data; took part in framing the article or rechecking it critically for essential intellectual content; agreed to submit to the current journal; gave final approval of the version to be published; and agreed to be account for all aspects of the work.


10. FUNDING

There is no funding to report.


11. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

The authors report no financial or any other conflicts of interest in this work.


12. ETHICAL APPROVALS

This particular study does not involve any animals or human studies.


13. DATA AVAILABILITY

All the data is available with the authors and shall be provided upon request.


14. PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This journal remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published institutional affiliation.

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