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Antimony (SbIII) reduces growth, declines photosynthesis, and modifies leaf tissue anatomy in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

Vaculík, Marek, Mrázová, Anna, Lux, Alexander
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.23 pp. 18699-18706
Helianthus annuus, antimony, crops, hydroponics, intercellular spaces, leaves, photosynthesis, physiological state, pigments, plant growth, roots, shoots, transpiration
The role of antimony (Sb)—a non-essential trace metalloid—in physiological processes running in crops is still poorly understood. Present paper describes the effect of Sb tartrate (SbIII) on growth, Sb uptake, photosynthesis, photosynthetic pigments, and leaf tissue organization in young sunflower plants grown in hydroponics. We found that growth of below- and aboveground part was reduced with increasing concentration of Sb in the medium. Although Sb was mostly taken up by sunflower roots and only small part (1–2 %) was translocated to the shoots, decline in photosynthesis, transpiration, and decreased content of photosynthetic pigments were observed. This indicates that despite relatively low mobility of Sb in root-shoot system, Sb in shoot noticeably modifies physiological status and reduced plant growth. Additionally, leaf anatomical changes indicated that Sb reduced the size of intercellular spaces and made leaf tissue more compact.