You are here:
TOXICITY OF METHYL-TERT BYTYL ETHER (MTBE) TO PLANTS (AVENA SATIVA, ZEA MAYS, TRITICUM AESTIVUM, AND LACTUCA SATIVA)
An, Y., D H. Kampbell*, AND M. E. McGill. TOXICITY OF METHYL-TERT BYTYL ETHER (MTBE) TO PLANTS (AVENA SATIVA, ZEA MAYS, TRITICUM AESTIVUM, AND LACTUCA SATIVA). ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL, 21(8):1679-1682, (2002).
Effects of Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) on the germination of seeds and growth of the plant were studied in some laboratory experiments. Test plants were wild oat (Avena sative), sweet corn (Zea mays), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Seed germination, shoot growth, and root elongation of plants exposed to different concentration of MTBE in a moist soil were examined. Seed germination and seedling growth in MTBE contaminated soil were markedly reduced in all test plants. LC/50 values for seed germination tests and EC/50 values for shoot or root elongation effect were calculated, and the values for lettuce, wild oat, and wheat and sweet corn were in the range of 188-91, 362-459, 432-751, and 672-964 mg MTBE/kg soil, respectively. Lettuce was most sensitive to MTVE followed by wild oat, wheat and sweet corn in this order. Since MTBE can be readily absorbed by plants due to its high polarity, plant growth was found to be a more sensitive endpoint than seed germination in this study. Shoot length was more reduced in MTBE contaminated soil than the root length, which indicated that MTBE could be transported rapidly from roots to the plant body. When the LC/50 and EC/50 values were plotted against the average weight of seeds, a positive relationship was obtainedd. This indicated that smaller seeds are generally more sensitive because they are likely to absorb more MTBE based on a lower mass.