Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2010 Sep;29(9):2072-8. doi: 10.1002/etc.236.

Rhizotoxic effects of silver in cowpea seedlings.

Author information

  • 1School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, 4072, Australia.


Silver (Ag) is highly toxic to aquatic organisms, including algae, invertebrate animals, and fish, but little information exists on Ag rhizotoxicity in higher plants. In two solution culture experiments with approximately 1,000 microM Ca(NO3)2 and 5 microM H3BO3 (pH 5.4), 20 to 80% of added Ag (< or =2 microM) was lost from solution within approximately 30 min, with a further decrease after 48 h root growth. Using measured Ag concentrations at the start of the experiments, the median effective concentration (EC50) for root elongation rate of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp. cv. Caloona) was 0.010 microM Ag in the first 4 h of exposure (0.021 microM in the first 8 h). This demonstrates that Ag (as Ag+) is rapidly rhizotoxic to cowpea seedlings at concentrations similar to those that are toxic to freshwater biota. Rupturing of rhizodermal and outer cortical layers was evident after 48 h with 0.13 to 0.57 microM Ag initially in solution, being most severe at 0.13 or 0.25 microM Ag. An additional experiment showed that ruptures were first evident after 20 h exposure to 0.17 microM Ag, with increased severity of rupturing over time. The rhizotoxic effects of Ag are similar to those of some other trace metals (e.g., Cu, Al, La) that bind strongly to hard ligands and weakly to soft ligands. The similarity of rupturing effects, despite the difference in strong binding to soft ligands by Ag and to hard ligands by the other metals, suggests a distinctive metabolic effect of Ag that binds only weakly to hard ligands.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center