Absorption, translocation, and metabolism of primisulfuron and nicosulfuron in broadleaf signalgrass (Brachiaria platyphylla) and corn

Kent Gallaher, Thomas C. Mueller, Robert M. Hayes, Otto Schwartz, Michael Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Broadleaf signalgrass is sensitive to nicosulfuron and resistant to primisulfuron, but corn is resistant to both. Research was conducted to determine the effect of varying light level and air temperature on absorption, translocation, and metabolism of nicosulfuron and primisulfuron in broadleaf signalgrass and corn. Corn absorbed between 60 and 85% of the applied nicosulfuron and primisulfuron within 72 h after treatment (HAT), depending on environmental treatment. Absorption, translocation, and metabolism all tended to be more rapid at higher temperature and light intensity. Nicosulfuron and primisulfuron translocation out of the treated leaf was < 4.5% of herbicide absorbed through 72 HAT. Corn rapidly metabolized both herbicides in both environments. However, primisulfuron was metabolized more rapidly (high = 99%, low = 92%) than nicosulfuron (high = 95%, low = 78%). Broadleaf signalgrass absorbed 20% more nicosulfuron than primisulfuron through 72 HAT. Nicosulfuron translocation out of the treated leaf in broadleaf signalgrass was ≤ 15% absorbed through 72 HAT, while primisulfuron translocation was ≤ 4% during the same time period. Primisulfuron metabolism was more rapid than nicosulfuron in broadleaf signalgrass. During the first 4 HAT, broadleaf signalgrass metabolized > 20 times more primisulfuron than nicosulfuron. By 72 HAT, broadleaf signalgrass under conditions of high light and temperature had metabolized nearly 90% of the primisulfuron absorbed but ≤ 7% of the nicosulfuron absorbed was metabolized during the same time. These results suggest that differential activity of nicosulfuron and primisulfuron on broadleaf signalgrass may be based on differential rates of metabolism to nonphytotoxic compounds; uptake and translocation differences agree with the differential broadleaf signalgrass activity. Additionally, environment has the potential to affect rates of sulfonylurea absorption, translocation, and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalWeed Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Absorption
  • HPLC
  • Metabolism
  • Translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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