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Rape (Brassica chinensis L.) seed germination, seedling growth, and physiology in soil polluted with di-n-butyl phthalate and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Ma, Tingting, Christie, Peter, Teng, Ying, Luo, Yongming
Environmental science and pollution research international 2013 v.20 no.8 pp. 5289-5298
Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis, acetylcholinesterase, agricultural soils, ascorbate peroxidase, biomass, catechol oxidase, free amino acids, humans, malondialdehyde, monitoring, phthalates, phytotoxicity, plastics, pollutants, polluted soils, proline, risk, roots, seed germination, seedling growth, seedlings, seeds, shoots, sugars, superoxide dismutase, China
Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) pollution in agricultural soils caused by widely employed plastic products is becoming more and more widespread in China. PAEs polluted soil can lead to phytotoxicity in higher plants and potential health risks to human being. We evaluated the individual toxicity of di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), two representative PAEs, to sown rape (Brassica chinensis L.) seeds within 72 h (as germination stage) and seedlings after germination for 14 days by monitoring responses and trends of different biological parameters. No significant effects of six concentrations of PAE ranging from 0 (not treated/NT) to 500 mg kg(-1) on germination rate in soil were observed. However, root length, shoot length, and biomass (fresh weight) were inhibited by both pollutants (except root length and biomass under DEHP). Stimulatory effects of both target pollutants on malondialdehyde (MDA) content, superoxide dismutase (SODase) activity, ascorbate peroxidase (APXase) content, and polyphenoloxidase (PPOase) activity in shoots and roots (SODase activity in shoots excluded) were in the same trend with the promotion of proline (Pro) but differed with acetylcholinesterase activity (except in shoots under DnBP) for analyzed samples treated for 72 h and 14 days. Responses of representative storage compounds free amino acids (FAA) and total soluble sugar (TSS) under both PAEs were raised. Sensitivity of APXase and Pro in roots demonstrates their possibility in estimation of PAE phytotoxicity and the higher toxicity of DnBP, which has also been approved by the morphological photos of seedlings at day 14. Higher sensitivity of the roots was also observed. The recommended soil allowable concentration is 5 mg DnBP kg(-1) soil for the development of rape. We still need to know the phytotoxicity of DEHP at whole seedling stage for both the growing and development; on the other hand, soil criteria for PAE compounds are urgently required in China.