Research on the impact of polyhexamethyleneguanidine on the plant component of biocenoses

Keywords: polyalkilenguanidines, ecosystems, transition coefficients, monitoring, toxicity


This article analyses the results of studying the influence of polymeric guanidine derivatives, namely polyhexa­methyleneguanidine chloride (PНMG), on land and freshwater plants. Gas chromatography was used to determine the soil – plant and water – plant transition coefficients. Methods of mass spectrometry and photocalorimetry were used to identify the PHMG in the samples. We investigated the toxicity of PНMG for freshwater flora in an aquarium on Vallisneria spiralis, Riccia fluitans and Chlorella pyrenoidosa. The results showed that even the lowest bactericidal concentrations of the preparation (10–3% or 10 mg/L) caused the death of test organisms within one to two days. One-time application of PНMG to the aquarium in dose of 10–4% (or 1 mg/L) did not cause any noticeable changes in algae during the 7 days of the experiment. The PНMG transfer coefficient did not exceed 0.1% for the system "water – algae tissue". Moreover, the initial concentration of the drug in the water decreased by almost ten times already during the first two days. PНMG polycation molecules quickly bind to dissolved in water organic and inorganic substances, suspended particles, microorganisms, etc. Flocculation causes a sharp decrease in the number of active "free" polycation molecules in water. The drug settles on the bottom of the aquarium and then is destroyed by bacteria saprophytes. Apparently, PHMG is included in their metabolism and serves as nitrogen source for microorganisms Pseudomonas putida, Flavobacterium columnare, Bacillus sp., Sarcina sp., Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrobacter sp. At the same time, this study showed that the safe concentration of PHMG for hydrobionts in the water of natural fresh water reservoirs is 0.01 mg/l, or 10–6%, provided the drug is chronic. Ground plants are more resistant to the action of PHMG. They easiliy tolerate finely dispersed spraying with 0.3% aqueous solution of PGMG chloride in a dose of 0.5–1.0 l/m2. For Urtica dioica, Artemisia absinthium, Taraxacum officinale and Poa angustifolia the coefficients of transfer of the preparation from the surface of plants to internal tissues did not exceed 0.01%. And the coefficients of transfer of PHMG from soil to plants were in the range of 0.004–0.008%. We conducted environmental monitoring in Rivne region during 2011–2015. It showed that numerous cases of use of PGMG drugs for disinfection of various agricultural objects did not lead to any noticeable negative consequences for natural biocenoses. Consequently, we can assume that the preparations of PНMG do not pose a serious threat to the vegetative component of ecosystems. Migration of the drug is minimal in food chains in soil and water. 


Buchberger, Т., Himmelsbach, М., & chberger, W. (2013). Trace analysis of biocidal oligoguanidines in environmental water samples. Journal of Chromatography A, 1318(29), 22–26.
Carmona-Ribeiro, A. M., & de Melo Carrasco, L. D. (2013). Cationic antimicrobial polymers and their assemblies. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14, 9906–9946.
Chakraborty, B., Pal, N., Maiti, P. K., Patra, S. K., & Ray, R. (2014). Action of newer disinfectants on multidrug resistant bacteria. Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences, 3(11), 2797–2813.
Chang, H.-R., Yang, K.-W., & Kim, Y.-H. (2006). Environmental risk assessment of polyhexamethyleneguanidine phosphate by soil adsorption/desorption coefficient. Korean Journal of Environmental Agriculture, 25(4), 365–370.
Chindera, K., Mahato, M., Sharma, A. K., Horsley, H., Kloc-Muniak, K., Kamaruzzaman, N. F., Kumar, S., McFarlane, A., Stach, J., Bentin, T., & Good, L. (2016). The antimicrobial polymer PHMB enters cells and selectively condenses bacterial chromosomes. Scientific Reports, 6, 23121.
Choi, H., Kim, K. J., & Lee, D. G. (2017). Antifungal activity of the cationic antimicrobial polymer-polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride and its mode of action. Fungal Biology, 121(1), 53–60.
Firdessa, R., Good, L., Amstalden, M. C., Chindera, K., Kamaruzzaman, N. F., Schultheis, M., Röger, B., Hecht, N., Oelschlaeger, T. A., Meinel, L., Lühmann, T., & Moll, H. (2015). Pathogen- and host-directed antileishmanial effects mediated by polyhexanide (PHMB). PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(10), e0004041.
Klimenko, A. (2014). Posivni yakosti ta mikoflora nasinnia kukurudzy za vplyvu preparativ zakhysnoi diji [Sowing seed quality and mycoflora corn under the influence of protective preparations]. Agroecological Journal, 1, 111–113 (in Ukrainian).
Knysh, A. N., Savіn, O. R., & Loschіnyn, M. B. (1989). Іn protocols of V International conference on chemistry and biotechnology (Varna). Bіologіcally Actіve Natural Products, 2, 370.
Lysytsya, A. V., Mandygra, Y. M., Bojko, O. P., Romanishyna, O. O., & Mandygra, M. S. (2015). Differential sensitivity of microorganisms to polyhexamethyleneguanidine. Microbiologichny Zhurnal, 77(5), 11–19.
Lysytsya, A., Lyco, S., & Portuhaj, O. (2013). The polyhexamethyleneguanidine stimulation of seeds growing and cell proliferation. Journal of Materials Science and Engineering B, 3(10), 653–660.
Mac Farlane, R. D., & Torgerson, D. F. (1976). 252-Cf-Plasma desorptіon tіme-of-flіght mass spectrometry. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Physics, 21, 81–92.
Mandygra, M. S., & Lysytsya, A. V. (2014). Some aspects of the polyhexa-methyleneguanidine salts effect on cell cultures. Agricultural Science and Practice, 1(1), 62–67.
Mashat, B. H. (2016). Polyhexamethylene biguanide hydrochloride: Features and applications. British Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4(1), 49–55.
Mathurin, Y. K., Koffi-Nevry, R., Guéhi, S. T., Tano, K., & Oulé, M. K. (2012). Antimicrobial activities of polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride–based disinfectant against fungi isolated from cocoa beans and reference strains of bacteria. Journal of Food Protection, 75(6), 1167–1171.
Moore, L. E., Ledder, R., Gilbert, P., & McBain, A. J. (2008). In vitro study of the effect of cationic biocides on bacterial population dynamics and susceptibility. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74(15), 4825–4834.
O’Malley, L. P., Collins, A. N., & White, G. F. (2006). Biodegradability of end-groups of the biocide polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) assessed using model compounds. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 33(8), 677–684.
Opryshko, N. O. (2013). Doslidzhennja vlastyvostej preparatu ekoton dlja ekologobezpechnyh tehnologij vyroshhuvannja ogirka [Investigation of properties of preparation ecoton for environmentally safe technologies of cucumber production]. Agrobiology, 11, 104–107 (in Ukrainian).
Oule, M. K., Quinn, K., Dickman, M., Bernier, A. M., Rondeau, S., Moissac, D., Boisvert, A., & Diop, L. (2012). Akwaton, polyhexamethylene-guanidine hydrochloride-based sporicidal disinfectant: A novel tool to fight bacterial spores and nosocomial infections. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 61, 1421–1427.
Prasanthi, K., Murty, D. S., & Saxena, N. K. (2012). Evaluation of antimicrobial activity of surface disinfectants by quantitative suspension method. International Journal of Research in Biological Sciences, 2(3), 124–127.
Sysoev, A. A., & Artaev, V. B. (1991). Mass-spektrometrija s ionizaciej oskolkami delenija jader kalifornija-252 [Mass spectrometry with ionization of fission fragments of californium-252]. Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 46(1), 6–18 (in Russian).
Timofeeva, L., & Kleshcheva, N. (2011). Antimicrobial polymers: Mechanism of action, factors of activity, and applications. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 89(3), 475–492.
Vointseva, I. I., & Gembitsky, P. A. (2009). Polyguanidiny – disinfectiony sredstva i polifunctionalnye dobavki v kompozicionye materialy [Polyguanidines – disinfecting agents and multifunctional additives to composite materials]. LKM-press, Moscow (in Russian).
Zhou, Z., Zheng, A., & Zhong, J. (2011). Interactions of biocidal guanidine hydrochloride polymer analogs with model membranes: A comparative biophysical study. Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica (Shanghai), 43(9), 729–737.