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Paclobutrazol is a triazole plant growth regulator with a wide range of applications in crop and fruit tree production. Paclobutrazol is used as a racemic mixture in agriculture. However, the effects of paclobutrazol enantiomers on soil microbial community structure and diversity are unclear. In the present study, Illumina high-throughput sequencing was used to study the enantioselective effects of two paclobutrazol enantiomers on soil microbial community. S-paclobutrazol was more persistent than R-paclobutrazol. The half-lives of the S- and R-isomers were 80 d and 50 d, respectively. No interconversion between the two isomers occurred in soils. In addition, the enantiomers had significant enantiomeric effects on soil microbial community and the paclobutrazol degradation was probably attributed to the presence of Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium. Notably, the relative abundance of Fusarium, a genus of filamentous fungi producing gibberellins, could be enantioselectively affected by the chiral enantiomers. Paclobutrazol enantiomers exhibited greater effects on the fungal community structure than bacterial community structure due to the fungicidal activity of paclobutrazol. Finally, R-paclobutrazol had a significant effect on the microbial networks. The findings of the present study suggest that the use of S-paclobutrazol may accomplish both plant growth regulation and the minimization of effects of paclobutrazol on soil microbial communities. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Hongwei Zhao, Qiuli Li, Xiaotuo Jin, Dong Li, Zhiqiang Zhu, Qing X Li. Chiral enantiomers of the plant growth regulator paclobutrazol selectively affect community structure and diversity of soil microorganisms. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Nov 25;797:148942

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PMID: 34311352

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