Fluoride Action Network

Atlas of the microbial degradation of fluorinated pesticides

Source: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology | October 6th, 2021 | Authors: Alexandrino DAM, Mucha AP, Almeida CMR, Carvalho MF.
Location: Portugal
Industry type: Pesticides


Fluorine-based agrochemicals have been benchmarked as the golden standard in pesticide development, prompting their widespread use in agriculture. As a result, fluorinated pesticides can now be found in the environment, entailing serious ecological implications due to their harmfulness and persistence. Microbial degradation might be an option to mitigate these impacts, though environmental microorganisms are not expected to easily cope with these fluoroaromatics due to their recalcitrance. Here, we provide an outlook on the microbial metabolism of fluorinated pesticides by analyzing the degradation pathways and biochemical processes involved, while also highlighting the central role of enzymatic defluorination in their productive metabolism. Finally, the potential contribution of these microbial processes for the dissipation of fluorinated pesticides from the environment is also discussed.

Additional information


Diogo A. M. Alexandrino acknowledges Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) for the PhD fellowship ref. SFRH/BD/116702/2016. M.F. Carvalho wishes to acknowledge CEEC program supported by FCT [CEECIND/02968/2017], Fundo Social Europeu and Programa Operacional Potencial Humano. This work was co-funded by the project Ocean3R [NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000064], supported by the North Portugal Regional Operational Programme [NORTE2020], under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement and through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the Strategic Funding UIDB/04423/2020 and UIDP/04423/2020 through national funds provided by FCT and ERDF.

*Original abstract online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07388551.2021.1977234?af=R&journalCode=ibty20