Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 32:59

Effect of heavy metals on root growth and peroxidase activity in barley root tip

  • L’ubica Halušková
  • Katarína Valentovičová
  • Jana Huttová
  • Igor Mistrík
  • Ladislav Tamás
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11738-009-0377-1

Cite this article as:
Halušková, L., Valentovičová, K., Huttová, J. et al. Acta Physiol Plant (2010) 32: 59. doi:10.1007/s11738-009-0377-1


In the present work, we investigated the alteration of oxidative and peroxidative activities of peroxidases (PODs) along the longitudinal root axis of barley seedlings during heavy metal (HM; e.g., Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb) treatment. Analysis of the individual root segments revealed that all of the analyzed HMs caused an increase of guaiacol-POD activity, however to a different extent and spatial distribution. Cd-induced ferulic acid POD activity was observed along the whole root tip (RT), while Cu and Hg caused its increase in the meristematic zone and Ni mainly at the end of the differentiation zone of RT. The activation of coniferyl alcohol POD by HMs was detected along the whole RT. HM-induced hydrogen peroxide-generating POD activity was localized mainly to the elongation zone of RT. Elevated chlorogenic acid POD activity was observed in the meristematic zone and at the end of the differentiation zone of RTs. The activation of several PODs is probably associated with enhanced H2O2 production and lignification as a defense response of roots to several HM, to prevent their uncontrolled flux. On the other hand, this defense response is accompanied by root growth inhibition, due to the enhanced rigidification of cell wall and accelerated differentiation of RTs.


Chlorogenic acid peroxidase Coniferyl alcohol peroxidase Ferulic acid peroxidase Guaiacol peroxidase NADH peroxidase 



Cell wall


Chlorogenic acid peroxidase


Coniferyl alcohol peroxidase


Ferulic acid peroxidase


Guaiacol peroxidase


Heavy metal


NADH peroxidase




Reactive oxygen species


Root tip

Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • L’ubica Halušková
    • 1
  • Katarína Valentovičová
    • 1
  • Jana Huttová
    • 1
  • Igor Mistrík
    • 1
  • Ladislav Tamás
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of BotanySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovak Republic

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