, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1071-1079

Arsenic accumulation in Ocimum spp. and its effect on growth and oil constituents

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Abstract

A comparative evaluation of As accumulation and subsequent effects upon exposure to arsenite [As(III)] was performed in three species of Ocimum. Plants accumulated high amount of As (μg g−1 dry weight; dw) (662 in O. tenuiflorum, 764 in O. basilicum and 831 in O. gratissimum at 100 μM As(III) after 10 days) with the order of accumulation being roots > stem > leaves. A significant reduction in plant height and biomass was observed. However, essential oil yield and major oil constituents, such as eugenol, methyl chevicol, and linalool, increased at lower As(III) concentrations [mostly up to 25 μM As(III)] in all three species. Positively, no detectable amount of As was found in oil of any species. The study proposes that Ocimum may be used as a phytoremediator and at the same time as a source of essential oils under proper regulation.

Communicated by B. Zheng.