The effect of palm kernel oil (PKO) biodiesel-contaminated soil on morphological and biochemical properties of Zea mays (corn) was investigated. Thirty polythene pots with drainage holes at the bottom, each containing 10 kg of surface soil, were randomly placed on a table in the screenhouse in a factorial combination of five treatment levels (4%, 3.0%, 2.0%, 1.0% and 0% w/w) of PKO biodiesel and were designated S4, S3, S2, S1 and S0 respectively. Three seeds of maize per pot were planted. Growth parameters (plant height, stem girth, relative water content (RWC), selected leaf properties (chlorophyll content (SPAD value) and soluble protein content (SPC)) and antioxidant indices were determined in the corn over a period of eight weeks after planting (WAP). Results showed that growth of corn planted in contaminated soil was significantly lower (p<0.05) than that of control. Corn planted in the contaminated soil also showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities in leaves when compared with control plants. The results suggest that PKO biodiesel-contaminated soil hindered availability of water, air and nutrients to corn roots, creating a drought condition which could induce oxidative stress in the plant and consequently retarding growth and yield of corn plant.
Citation: Olalekan A (2014) The Effect of Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) Biodiesel-Contaminated Soil on Morphological and Biochemical Properties of Zea mays. J Plant Biochem Physiol 2:138. doi: 10.4172/2329-9029.1000138