Background: Regardless of the achievable of chiral switch, most of the chiral
nature agrochemical is still sold as racemate or enantiomer-enriched pesticides. Herbicides,
accounted for a large proportion in pesticide market, are of great concern due to
the frequent occurrence in environment and the structure selective phyto-biochemical
impact on plants.
Methods: We give a systematic search on the literature database and included approximately
50 papers which were related to the review. We do careful categories for the
chiral herbicides according to their structure and listed out the acute phytotoxicity endpoints.
The potential mechanism for the enantioselective toxicity was concluded into 5
Results: The enantiomer-specific toxicity on plant growth and flowers are limited on phenoxyalkanoic acid
herbicide, aryloxyphenoxypropanoic acid, imidazolinone herbicide, and acetamide pesticide. Data available
on the potential mechanism explanation of enantioselective phytotoxicity has been concerned on the genetic
transcription, oxidative stress, and photosynthesis disruption, etc. A comparison between the two enantiomers’
enantioselective effects identified an organ-specific and species-specific phenomenon for several
herbicides. Moreover, a more herbicidal activity enantiomer is also displayed the more toxicity than its antipode.
Conclusion: The review elucidated a paucity of information on the enantioselective effect research on various
types of plants at the different life stages. It appealed us to conduct a more holistic approach to balance
the benefit between herbicidal activity and phytotoxicity when try to develop an enantio-pure herbicide.