Main content area

Citric acid assisted phytoremediation of copper by Brassica napus L.

Zaheer, Ihsan Elahi, Ali, Shafaqat, Rizwan, Muhammad, Farid, Mujahid, Shakoor, Muhammad Bilal, Gill, Rafaqa Ali, Najeeb, Ullah, Iqbal, Naeem, Ahmad, Rehan
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2015 v.120 pp. 310-317
Brassica napus, ascorbate peroxidase, biomass production, catalase, chlorophyll, citric acid, copper, electrolytes, enzyme activity, gas exchange, heavy metals, hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen production, leaves, malondialdehyde, nutrient content, peroxidase, photosynthesis, phytoremediation, plant growth, polluted soils, proteins, roots, seedlings, shoots, superoxide dismutase, toxicity
Use of organic acids for promoting heavy metals phytoextraction is gaining worldwide attention. The present study investigated the influence of citric acid (CA) in enhancing copper (Cu) uptake by Brassica napus L. seedlings. 6 Weeks old B. napus seedlings were exposed to different levels of copper (Cu, 0, 50 and 100µM) alone or with CA (2.5mM) in a nutrient medium for 40 days. Exposure to elevated Cu levels (50 and 100µM) significantly reduced the growth, biomass production, chlorophyll content, gas exchange attributes and soluble proteins of B. napus seedlings. In addition, Cu toxicity increased the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA) and electrolyte leakage (EL) in leaf and root tissues of B. napus. Activities of antioxidant enzymes such as guaiacol peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalases (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) in root and shoot tissues of B. napus were increased in response to lower Cu concentration (50µM) but increased under higher Cu concentration (100µM). Addition of CA into nutrient medium significantly alleviated Cu toxicity effects on B. napus seedlings by improving photosynthetic capacity and ultimately plant growth. Increased activities of antioxidant enzymes in CA-treated plants seems to play a role in capturing of stress-induced reactive oxygen species as was evident from lower level of H2O2, MDA and EL in CA-treated plants. Increasing Cu concentration in the nutrient medium significantly increased Cu concentration in in B. napus tissues. Cu uptake was further increased by CA application. These results suggested that CA might be a useful strategy for increasing phytoextraction of Cu from contaminated soils.