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Chemosphere. 2013 Nov;93(10):2239-44. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.07.074. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Physiological and biochemical responses of rice seeds to phosphine exposure during germination.

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  • 1College of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, PR China; The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of Education, PR China; The Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Eco-Remediation of Guangdong Regular Higher Education Institutions, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address: xjniu@scut.edu.cn.


Rice seeds (Tianyou, 3618) were used to examine the physiological and biochemical responses to phosphine exposure during germination. A control (0 mg m(-3)) and four concentrations of phosphine (1.4 mg m(-3), 4.2 mg m(-3), 7.0 mg m(-3) and 13.9 mg m(-3)) were used to treat the rice seeds. Each treatment was applied for 90 min once per day for five days. The germination rate (GR); germination potential (GP); germination index (GI); antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT); and lipid peroxidation measured through via malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined as indicators of the physiological and biochemical responses of the rice seeds to phosphine exposure. These indicators were determined once per day for five days. The results indicated that the GR, GP and GI of the rice seeds markedly decreased after phosphine exposure. The changes in the activities of the antioxidant enzymes due to the phosphine exposure were also significant. The exposure lowered the CAT and SOD activities and increased POD activity in the treated rice seeds compared with controls. The MDA content exhibited a slow increase trend with the increase of phosphine concentration. These results suggest that phosphine has inhibitory effects on seed germination. In addition, phosphine exposure caused oxidative stress in the seeds. The antioxidant enzymes could play a pivotal role against oxidative injury. Overall, the effect of phosphine on rice seeds is different from what has been reported previously for insects and mammals.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Antioxidant enzymes; Lipid peroxidation; Phosphine; Rice seeds; Seed germination

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