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Effects of sulfur on toxicity and bioavailability of Cu for castor (Ricinus communis L.) in Cu-contaminated soil

Ren, Chao, You, Jinwei, Qi, Yongbo, Huang, Guoyong, Hu, Hongqing
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.35 pp. 27476-27483
Ricinus communis, bioavailability, biogeochemical cycles, catalase, chemical speciation, copper, glutathione, heavy metals, leaves, malondialdehyde, mine tailings, oxidative stress, soil, sulfur, superoxide dismutase, toxicity
The biogeochemical cycling of sulfur (S) in soil has an important impact on the bioavailability of heavy metals and affects the utilization of soil polluted by heavy metals. In addition, S-containing compounds are involved in heavy metal detoxification. This study investigated the effects of S on the toxicity and bioavailability of copper (Cu) in castor (Ricinus communis L.) grown in Cu-contaminated mine tailings. The results showed that the application of S reduced the accumulation of Cu in castor and promoted its growth. With the addition of S, the malondialdehyde (MDA) content of castor leaves decreased significantly compared with control plants, indicating the alleviation of oxidative stress. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities and glutathione (GSH) content decreased significantly with the alleviation of oxidative stress. The sequential extraction of Cu fractions showed that the application of S significantly reduced the reducible Cu fraction, and increased the oxidizable Cu fraction. It also increased the residual Cu fraction in the soil. The transformation of chemical speciation reduced the bioavailability of Cu in soil, which then reduced the accumulation of Cu in castor. Our results demonstrated that S application was effective at promoting castor growth by reducing the bioavailability and uptake of Cu in Cu-contaminated mine tailings.