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Environ Pollut. 2000 Jul;109(1):131-5.

Evaluation of lipid peroxidation as a toxicity bioassay for plants exposed to copper.

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CEA/Cadarache, DSV, DEVM, Laboratoire de Phytotechnologie, 13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France.


Agricultural soils may contain toxic levels of copper (Cu) due to sewage sludge spreading or industrial pollution but chemical analyses may not be representative of Cu bioavailability, defined as the soil Cu fraction that plants can actually absorb (i.e. Cu fraction which is not strongly adsorbed to soil components). Lipid peroxidation caused by Cu in plants was investigated as a relevant bioassay of toxicity. Seven-day-old rapeseed plantlets were grown on Cu-supplemented medium in controlled conditions. Lipid-peroxidation was assessed by measuring: (1) the 2-thiobarbituric acid (TBA)-reactive substances; (2) the hydroperoxy acids by HPLC analysis; and (3) the alkane outputs by gas chromatography. We first verified the correlation between the results obtained by each method and then discussed their advantages and disadvantages within the context of a bioassay, showing that the volatile alkane output measurement is the most precise and easy to perform method for this purpose.

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