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Abstract

Red basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cv. Red Rubin was cultivated in model pot experiment in the soil amended by arsenic, cadmium and lead solutions in stepwise concentrations representing the soil concentration levels of former mining area in the vicinity of Příbram, Czech Republic. The element levels added to the soil reached up to 40 mg Cd, 100 mg As, and 2000 mg Pb per kg of soil. Moreover, essential macro-and microelements as well as cyanidine contents were investigated to assess their potential interactions with the risk elements. The extractable element portions in soils determined at the end of vegetation period differed according to the individual elements. Whereas the plant-available (extractable with 0.11M CH3COOH) content of Cd represented 70-100% of the added Cd, the mobile portion of Pb did not exceed 1%. The risk element content in plants reflected the increasing element contents in soil. The dominant element portions remained in plant roots indicating the limited translocation ability of risk elements to the aboveground biomass of this plant species. Although the risk element contents in amended plants significantly increased, no visible symptoms of phytotoxicity occurred. However, the effect of enhanced risk element contents on the essential element uptake was assessed. Considering inter-element relationships, elevated sulphur levels were seen in amended plants, indicating its possible role of phytochelatin synthesis in the plants. Moreover, the molybdenum contents in plant biomass dropped down with increasing risk element uptake by plants confirming As-Mo and Cd-Mo antagonism. The increasing content of cyanidine in the plant biomass confirmed possible role of anthocyanins in detoxification mechanism of risk element contaminated plants and suggested the importance of anthocyanin pigments for risk element tolerance of plants growing in contaminated areas.
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