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Chemosphere. 2006 Nov;65(6):1027-39. Epub 2006 May 8.

Lead detoxification by coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum L.) involves induction of phytochelatins and antioxidant system in response to its accumulation.

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Ecotoxicology and Bioremediation Group, National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226001, India.


Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum L.) plants when exposed to various concentrations of Pb (1-100microM) for 1-7days, exhibited both phytotoxic and tolerance responses. The specific responses were function of concentration and duration. Plants accumulated 1748mugPbg(-1) dw after 7d which reflected its metal accumulation ability, however most of the metal (1222microgg(-1) dw, 70%) was accumulated after 1d exposure only. The toxic effect and oxidative stress caused by Pb were evident by the reduction in biomass and photosynthetic pigments and increase in malondialddehyde (MDA) content and electrical conductivity with increase in metal concentration and exposure duration. Morphological symptoms of senescence phenomena such as chlorosis and fragmentation of leaves were observed after 7d. The metal tolerance and detoxification strategy adopted by the plant was investigated with reference to antioxidant system and synthesis of phytochelatins. Protein and antioxidant enzymes viz., superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC, guaiacol peroxidase (GPX, EC ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC, catalase (CAT, EC and glutathione reductase (GR, EC showed induction at lower concentration and duration followed by decline. All enzymes except GPX showed maximum activity after 1d. An increase in cysteine, non-protein thiols (NP-SH) and glutathione (GSH) content was observed at moderate exposure conditions followed by decline. Phytochelatins (PC(2) and PC(3)) were synthesized to significant levels at 10 and 50microM Pb with concomitant decrease in GSH levels. Thus production of PCs seems important for the detoxification of metal, however it may lead to depletion of GSH and consequently oxidative stress. Results suggest that plants responded positively to moderate Pb concentrations and accumulated high amount of metal. Due to metal accumulation coupled with detoxification potential, the plant appears to have potential for its use as phytoremediator species in aquatic environments having moderate pollution of Pb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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