Laboratory studies on the formation of bound residues and on the degradation of the triazole fungicide propiconazole were conducted in two different soils. Soils treated with 14C-propiconazole were incubated at 22 degrees C and extracted exhaustively with a solvent at each sampling date until no further propiconazole was extracted. The solvent-extractable residues were used to measure propiconazole remaining in the soil, and the extracted soils were used to investigate bound residues of propiconazole. Mineralization of propiconazole was investigated by measuring [14C]carbon dioxide evolved from the soil samples. Formation of bound residues of propiconazole was higher in silty clay loam soil than in sandy loam soil, giving approximately 38 and 23% of the applied 14C, respectively. In contrast, the rates of degradation and mineralization of propiconazole were lower in silty clay loam soil than in sandy loam soil. Decreased extractability of the 14C residues with incubation time was observed with increased formation of bound residues. When the propiconazole remaining in the solvent-extractable residues was quantitatively measured by high-pressure liquid chromatographic analysis, the half-life value in sandy loam soil was about 315 days, while the half-life in silty clay loam soil exceeded the duration of the 1 year experimental period. Increased formation of bound residues was observed as propiconazole degraded with incubation time, suggesting that degradation products are involved in the formation of bound residues. Our study suggests that the formation of bound residues of propiconazole contributes to the persistence of this fungicide in soil.