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Pb-induced phytotoxicity in para grass (Brachiaria mutica) and Castorbean (Ricinus communis L.): Antioxidant and ultrastructural studies

Khan, Muhammad Moman, Islam, Ejazul, Irem, Samra, Akhtar, Kalsoom, Ashraf, Muhammad Yasin, Iqbal, Javed, Liu, Dan
Chemosphere 2018 v.200 pp. 257-265
Ricinus communis, Urochloa mutica, carbon dioxide, castor beans, catalase, hydrogen peroxide, hydroponics, lead, leaves, malondialdehyde, nutrient solutions, peroxidase, photosynthesis, phytoremediation, phytotoxicity, roots, shoots, starch granules, stomatal conductance, superoxide dismutase, thylakoids
Hydroponics experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different levels of Pb on Para Grass (Brachiaria mutica) and Castorbean (Ricinus communis L). Generally, Para Grass exhibited higher tolerance to excessive concentrations of Pb in nutrient solution, whereas a consistent decline was observed in growth of Castorbean plants exposed to similar Pb levels. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and H2O2 contents exhibited contrasting results with a general decrease in Para Grass and a linear increase in case of Castorbean. In both species a decrease was noticed in the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and guaiacol peroxidase (G-POD) while catalase (CAT) activity was significantly increased. Ultrastructural studies revealed increased starch grains and adversely affected thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts of leaf cells of plants treated with 500 μM Pb. Photosynthetic parameters such as CO2 assimilation rate, stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration rate (E) decreased in both plant species under different levels of Pb. Maximum concentrations of Pb in shoots of Para Grass and Castorbean were 1.29 and 0.352 g kg−1, respectively while in roots maximum values were 8.88 and 49.86 g kg−1, respectively. The high concentrations of Pb (about 5%) in the roots of Castorbean plants suggest its possible role in the phytoremediation/rhizofiltration of Pb contaminated water.