The synergistic potential of the azole fungicides prochloraz and propiconazole toward a short α-cypermethrin pulse increases over time in Daphnia magna

Aquatic Toxicology, Elsevier, ISSN 0166-445X

Volume 162, 2015

DOI:10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.02.011, Dimensions: pub.1003309839, PMID: 25797530,


* Corresponding author



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU






Pyrethroid insecticides are highly toxic to non-target aquatic invertebrates. Their high toxicity is synergized when co-occurring with azole fungicides in the aquatic environment. Little is known about the importance of synergy, when pyrethroids only occur during a short pulse of a few hours, as it is likely to happen in the environment, nor about the persistence of synergy over time. This study analyzed the synergistic potential of the fungicides propiconazole and prochloraz toward Daphnia magna, when exposed to a pulse (7.2 h) of α-cypermethrin at different concentrations (average pulse concentrations 0.07-11 nM). Immobilization was monitored during exposure and a subsequent recovery period (87.5h) with and without continuous co-exposure to the azoles (1.4 and 1.7 μM, respectively). EC50 values for immobilization decreased exponentially over time with a higher rate in the presence of the azoles. EC50 values for α-cypermethrin determined at the end of the experiment were 3.3±0.5 nM in the absence of azoles and 0.26±0.04, and 0.08±0.01 nM in the presence of propiconazole and prochloraz, respectively. The synergistic potential of the azoles was strongly dependent on time: no synergism could be detected during the pulse, but with azole co-exposure EC50 values decreased during the recovery period by a factor of up to 13 (propiconazole) and 61 (prochloraz) compared to values without azole exposure. Such high synergistic ratios have not been reported for pesticide mixtures in literature before. Our findings highlight that a pulse of the pyrethroid α-cypermethrin is synergized far beyond the actual pulse and beyond standardized test durations. Long post-exposure times are therefore mandatory in order to capture full synergism.


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