, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 1124-1134,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Sep 2012

Accumulation of heavy metals and antioxidant responses in Vicia faba plants grown on monometallic contaminated soil

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of soil contamination by selected metals (cadmium, copper, nickel, lead or zinc) on the antioxidant response of Vicia faba plants. The levels of the antioxidants: glutathione, proline, non-protein thiols, as well as guaiacol peroxidase and catalase activities were measured in the upperparts of plants. Additionally, the potential bioavailability of metals in the soil and their concentrations in V. faba plants were compared. Treatment with metal caused the problem of an elevation in its bioavailability in soil and its concentration in leaves and stems. The most serious problems seemed to be metal elevations in soil, especially Zn and Ni as well as in the aerial parts of V. faba plants. The antioxidant responses appeared to be metal specific. The elevation of guaiacol peroxidase activity in leaves and stems as well as the proline in leaves was the only more general reaction to metal exposure. Upon analysis of the effects of soil metal contamination on V. faba plants, we recommend the use of some measurements such as guaiacol peroxidase activity and proline level as useful tools in biological monitoring.

Responsible editor: Elena Maestri