Biotransformation of 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol by the whole soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) seedlings

Hongna Zhang, Bei Wen*, Honglin Huang, Sen Wang, Zongwei CAI, Shuzhen Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) are important precursors of perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) in the environment and biota. With the growing application of 6:2 FTOH [F(CF2)6CH2CH2OH] in product formulation, it is becoming increasingly urgent to investigate its biological fates in different species. In this study, biotransformation of 6:2 FTOH by young soybean plants (Glycine max L. Merrill) were investigated using hydroponic experiments. During the 144 h-exposure, 6:2 FTCA [F(CF2)6CH2COOH], 6:2 FTUCA [F(CF2)5CF[dbnd]CHCOOH], 5:3 FTUCA [F(CF2)5CH[dbnd]CHCOOH], 5:3 FTCA [F(CF2)5CH2CH2COOH], PFHxA [F(CF2)5COOH] and PFPeA [F(CF2)4COOH] were phase I metabolites in soybean. At the end of exposure, 5:3 FTCA (5.08 mol%), PFHxA (2.34 mol%) and PFPeA (0.58 mol%) were three main metabolites in soybean-solution system. 5:3 FTCA was predominant in soybean roots and stems, while PFHxA was the most abundant product in leaves. PFBA [F(CF2)3COOH] and 4:3 FTCA [F(CF2)4CH2CH2COOH] detected in the hydroponic solution most-likely came from the transformation of 5:3 FTCA by root-associated microbes. Moreover, phase II metabolites of 6:2 FTOH were identified and monitored in soybean tissues. Alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione S-transferase were found to participate in 6:2 FTOH metabolism. Based on the phase I and phase II metabolism of 6:2 FTOH in soybean, this study for the first time provides evidences for the transformation pathways of 6:2 FTOH in plants. Phase I and phase II metabolites of 6:2 FTOH and some enzymic activities in soybean were analyzed, and possible biotransformation pathways were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113513
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • 6:2 Fluorotelomer alcohol
  • Biotransformation
  • GSH-Conjugated metabolite
  • Perfluorocarboxylic acid
  • Soybean


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