Biotransformation of Organophosphate Esters by Rice and Rhizosphere Microbiome: Multiple Metabolic Pathways, Mechanism, and Toxicity Assessment

Yuanyuan Yu, Xiaolong Yu, Dongqing Zhang, Ling Jin, Jiahui Huang, Xifen Zhu, Jianteng Sun, Miao Yu, Lizhong Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The biotransformation behavior and toxicity of organophosphate esters (OPEs) in rice and rhizosphere microbiomes were comprehensively studied by hydroponic experiments. OPEs with lower hydrophobicity were liable to be translocated acropetally, and rhizosphere microbiome could reduce the uptake and translocation of OPEs in rice tissues. New metabolites were successfully identified in rice and rhizosphere microbiome, including hydrolysis, hydroxylated, methylated, and glutathione-, glucuronide-, and sulfate-conjugated products. Rhizobacteria and plants could cooperate to form a complex ecological interaction web for OPE elimination. Furthermore, active members of the rhizosphere microbiome during OPE degradation were revealed and the metagenomic analysis indicated that most of these active populations contained OPE-degrading genes. The results of metabolomics analyses for phytotoxicity assessment implied that several key function metabolic pathways of the rice plant were found perturbed by metabolites, such as diphenyl phosphate and monophenyl phosphate. In addition, the involved metabolism mechanisms, such as the carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism and synthesis, and nucleotide metabolism in Escherichia coli, were significantly altered after exposure to the products mixture of OPEs generated by rhizosphere microbiome. This work for the first time gives a comprehensive understanding of the entire metabolism of OPEs in plants and associated microbiome, and provides support for the ongoing risk assessment of emerging contaminants and, most critically, their transformation products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776–1787
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • organophosphorus flame retardants
  • rhizosphere microbiome
  • rice
  • risk assessment
  • transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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