Lethal and sub-lethal effects of cyproconazole on freshwater organisms: a case study with Chironomus riparius and Dugesia tigrina

Abstract

The fungicide cyproconazole (CPZ) inhibits the biosynthesis of ergosterol, an essential sterol component in fungal cell membrane and can also affect non-target organisms by its inhibitory effects on P450 monooxygenases. The predicted environmental concentration of CPZ is up to 49.05 μg/L and 145.89 μg/kg in surface waters and sediments, respectively, and information about CPZ toxicity towards non-target aquatic organisms is still limited. This study aimed to address the lack of ecotoxicological data for CPZ, and thus, an evaluation of the lethal and sub-lethal effects of CPZ was performed using two freshwater invertebrates (the midge Chironomus riparius and the planarian Dugesia tigrina). The estimated CPZ 48 h LC50 (95% CI) was 17.46 mg/L for C. riparius and 47.38 mg/L for D. tigrina. The emergence time (EmT50) of C. riparius was delayed by CPZ exposure from 0.76 mg/L. On the other hand, planarians showed higher tolerance to CPZ exposure. Sub-lethal effects of CPZ on planarians included reductions in locomotion (1.8 mg/L), delayed photoreceptors regeneration (from 0.45 mg/L), and feeding inhibition (5.6 mg/L). Our results confirm the moderate toxicity of CPZ towards aquatic invertebrates but sub-lethal effects observed also suggest potential chronic effects of CPZ with consequences for population dynamics.