Comparative Phytotoxicity Among Four Arsenical Herbicides

  • Authors: Sachs, R.M.; Michael, J.L.
  • Publication Year: 1971
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Weed Science 19:558-564


Cacodylic acid (hydroxydimethylarsine oxide) was more phytotoxic than monsodium methanearsonate (MSMA), sodium arsenate, or sodium arsenite when foliarly-applied. MSMA was much more effective on dicotyledonous than on monocotyledonous species. Sodium arsenite and arsenate had little effect on grasses. A comparative study of absorption, transport, and metabolism in beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L. 'Black Valentine') revealed that cacodylic acid and MSMA were transported about equally from the leaves to the terminal bud and expanding leaves whereas negligible amounts of sodium arsenite and arsenate were translocated. The latter two compounds caused more rapid contact injury to the treated leaves than either organic arsenical. There was no indication that cacodylic acid or MSMA was demethylated to form inorganic arsenicals or reduced to trivalent arsenic compounds. Studies with 14C-MSMA indicated that about 40% of the 14C and arsenic recovered was bound rapidly to another molecule to form a ninhydrin-positive complex. In small amounts, arsenate combined with some component of plant tissues. Also, arsenite probably was oxidized to arsenate. In beans, root-applied sodium arsenite was more phytotoxic than sodium arsenate and both were much more phytotoxic than cacodylic acid and MSMA. Most differences in phytotoxicity could not be explained by differences in rates of absorption by bean roots. Arsenite caused considerable contact injury to the root system, probably accounting for its relatively great phytotoxicity. Both cacodylic acid and MSMA were more phytotoxic per mole of tissue arsenic when foliarly-applied than when root-applied.

  • Citation: Sachs, R.M.; Michael, J.L. 1971. Comparative Phytotoxicity Among Four Arsenical Herbicides. Weed Science 19:558-564
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
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