Acute Toxicity of the Antifouling Compound Butenolide in Non-Target Organisms

Yi-Fan Zhang, Kang Xiao, Kondethimmanahalli Chandramouli, Ying Xu, Ke Pan, Wen-Xiong Wang, Pei-Yuan Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Butenolide [5-octylfuran-2(5H)-one] is a recently discovered and very promising anti-marine-fouling compound. In this study, the acute toxicity of butenolide was assessed in several non-target organisms, including micro algae, crustaceans, and fish. Results were compared with previously reported results on the effective concentrations used on fouling (target) organisms. According to OECD's guideline, the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) was 0.168 µg l^(−1), which was among one of the highest in representative new biocides. Mechanistically, the phenotype of butenolide-treated Danio rerio (zebrafish) embryos was similar to the phenotype of the pro-caspase-3 over-expression mutant with pericardial edema, small eyes, small brains, and increased numbers of apoptotic cells in the bodies of zebrafish embryos. Butenolide also induced apoptosis in HeLa cells, with the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), Bcl-2 family proteins, and caspases and proteasomes/lysosomes involved in this process. This is the first detailed toxicity and toxicology study on this antifouling compound.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e23803
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 29 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): SA-C0040, UK-C0016
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by an award [SA-C0040/UK-C0016] from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology ( and grants from the Research Grants Council of HKSAR ( [N_HKUST602/09, AoE/P-04/04-2-II] to PY Qian. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute Toxicity of the Antifouling Compound Butenolide in Non-Target Organisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this