Author(s): Cargnelutti D, Tabaldi LA, Spanevello RM, de Oliveira Jucoski G, Battisti V, , Cargnelutti D, Tabaldi LA, Spanevello RM, de Oliveira Jucoski G, Battisti V,
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Abstract In this study, the effects of exogenous mercury (HgCl(2)) on time-dependent changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase and ascorbate peroxidase), lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll content and protein oxidation in cucumber seedlings (Cucumis sativus L.) were investigated. Cucumber seedlings were exposed to from 0 to 500microM of HgCl(2) during 10 and 15 days. Hg was readily absorbed by growing seedlings, and its content was greater in the roots than the in shoot. Time and concentration-dependent reduction in root and shoot length was observed at all concentrations tested, equally in the roots and shoot, at both 10 and 15 days. At 50microM HgCl(2), root fresh weight of 15-day-old seedlings increased, and at other concentrations, it reduced. For 10-day-old seedlings, reduction in root and shoot fresh biomass was observed. At 15 days, only at 50microM HgCl(2) was there no observed reduction in shoot fresh biomass. Dry weight of roots increased at 500microM both at 10 and 15 days, though at 250microM HgCl(2) there was only an increase at 15 days. There was a significant effect on shoot dry weight at all concentrations tested. Hg-treated seedlings showed elevated levels of lipid peroxides with a concomitant increase in protein oxidation levels, and decreased chlorophyll content when exposed to between 250 and 500microM of HgCl(2). At 10 days, catalase activity increased in seedlings at a moderately toxic level of Hg, whereas at the higher concentration (500microM), there was a marked inhibition. Taken together, our results suggest that Hg induces oxidative stress in cucumber, resulting in plant injury.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology