Variant-specific adsorption, desorption, and dissipation of microcystin toxins in surface soil

Bai-Lin LIU, Yan-Wen LI, Xi-Ying TU, Peng-Fei YU, Lei XIANG, Hai-Ming ZHAO, Nai-Xian FENG, Hui LI, Quan-Ying CAI, Ce-Hui MO, Ming Hung WONG

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Microcystins (MCs) are hepatotoxic heptapeptides identified in cyanobacterial bloom-impacted waters and soils. However, their environmental fate in soils is poorly understood, preventing reliable site assessment. This study aims to clarify the variant-specific adsorption, desorption, and dissipation of MC-LR and MC-RR in agricultural soils. Results revealed that their adsorption isotherms followed the Freundlich model (R2 ≥ 0.96), exhibiting a higher nonlinear trend and lower adsorption capacity for MC-LR than for MC-RR. The soils had low desorption rates of 8.14-21.06% and 3.06-34.04%, respectively, following a 24 h desorption cycle. Pairwise comparison indicated that soil pH and clay played key roles in MC-LR adsorption and desorption, while organic matter and cation exchange capacity played key roles in those of MC-RR. MC-LR dissipation half-lives in soils were 27.18-42.52 days, compared with 35.19-43.87 days for MC-RR. Specifically, an appreciable decrease in MC concentration in sterile soils suggested the significant role of abiotic degradation. This study demonstrates that the minor structural changes in MCs might have major effects on their environmental fates in agricultural soil and indicates that the toxic effects of MCs should be of high concern due to high adsorption, low desorption, and slow dissipation. Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11825-11834
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number40
Early online dateSept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


Liu, B.-L., Li, Y.-W., Tu, X.-Y., Yu, P.-F., Xiang, L., Zhao, H.-M., . . . Wong, M. H. (2021). Variant-specific adsorption, desorption, and dissipation of microcystin toxins in surface soil. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 69(40), 11825-11834. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c03918


  • Microcystins (MCs)
  • Adsorption
  • Desorption
  • Persistence
  • Abiotic degradation


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