US Geological Survey



Document Type


Date of this Version



J. Agric. Food Chem. 2020, 68, 1514−1524


U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


Pesticides coated to the seed surface potentially pose an ecological risk to granivorous birds that consume incompletely buried or spilled seeds. To assess the toxicokinetics of seeds treated with current-use fungicides, Japanese quail ( Coturnix japonica) were orally dosed with commercially coated wheat seeds. Quail were exposed to metalaxyl, tebuconazole, and fludioxonil at either a low dose (0.0655, 0.0308, and 0.0328 mg/kg of body weight, respectively) or a high dose (0.196, 0.0925, and 0.0985 mg/kg of body weight, respectively). Fungicides were rapidly absorbed and distributed to tissues. Tebuconazole was metabolized into tert-butylhydroxy-tebuconazole. All compounds were eliminated to below detection limits within 24 h. The high detection frequencies observed in fecal samples potentially offer a non-invasive matrix to monitor pesticide exposure. With the summation of total body burden across plasma, tissue, and fecal samples, less than 9% of the administered dose was identified as the parent fungicide, demonstrating the importance to monitor both active ingredients and their metabolites in biological samples.