, Volume 223, Issue 5, pp 910–916 | Cite as

Phytotoxic, clastogenic and bioaccumulation effects of the environmental endocrine disruptor bisphenol A in various crops grown hydroponically

  • Giuseppe FerraraEmail author
  • Elisabetta Loffredo
  • Nicola Senesi
Original Article


The effects of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) at concentrations of 10 and 50 mg l−1 were evaluated on the germination and morphology, micronuclei (MN) content in root tip cells and BPA bioaccumulation of hydroponic seedlings of broad bean (Vicia faba L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) after 6 and 21 days of growth. In general, BPA at any dose used did not inhibit germination and early growth (6 days) of seedlings of the species examined, with the exception of primary root length of tomato which decreased at the higher BPA dose. In contrast, an evident phytotoxicity was induced by BPA in all species after 21 days of growth with evident morphological anomalies and significant reductions of the lengths and fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots of seedlings. With respect to the nutrient medium without seedlings, BPA concentration decreased markedly during the growth period in the presence of broad bean and tomato seedlings, and limitedly in the presence of durum wheat and, especially, lettuce. Further, the presence of BPA measured in roots and shoots of broad bean and tomato after 21-day growth indicated that bioaccumulation of BPA had occurred. The number of MN in broad bean and durum wheat root tip cells increased markedly by treatment with BPA at both concentrations, thus suggesting a potential clastogenic activity of BPA in these species.


Bisphenol A Growth effects Lactuca sativa Lycopersicon esculentum Triticum durum Vicia faba 


  1. Atkinson A, Roy D (1995a) In vivo DNA adduct formation by bisphenol A. Environ Mol Mutagen 26:60–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson A, Roy D (1995b) In vitro conversion of environmental estrogenic chemical bisphenol A to DNA binding metabolite(s). Biochem Bioph Res Co 210:424–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cousins IT, Staples CA, Klečka GM, Mackay D (2002) A multimedia assessment of the environmental fate of bisphenol A. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 8:1107–1135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. EDSTAC. (1998) Endocrine disruptors screening and testing advisory committee Final report. Available on line
  5. Ferrara G, Loffredo E, Senesi N (2001) Aquatic humic substances inhibit clastogenic events in germinating seeds of herbaceous plants. J Agr Food Chem 49:1652–1657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fürhacker M, Scharf S, Weber H (2000) Bisphenol A: emissions from point sources. Chemosphere 41:751–756CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hamada H, Tomi R, Asada Y, Furuya T (2002) Phytoremediation of bisphenol A by cultured suspension cells of Eucalyptus perriniana-regioselective hydroxylation and glycosylation. Tetrahedron Lett 43:4087–4089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hewitt S, Hillman JR, Knights BA (1980) Steroidal oestrogens and plant growth and development. New Phytol 85:329–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jones JL, Roddick JG (1988) Steroidal estrogens and androgens in relation to reproductive development in higher plants. J Plant Physiol 133:510–518Google Scholar
  10. Jung V, Olsson E, Caspersen S, Asp H, Jensén P, Alsanius BW (2004) Response of young hydroponically grown tomato plants to phenolic acids. Sci Hortic-Amsterdam 100:23–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kolpin DW, Furlong ET, Meyer MT, Thurman EM, Zaugg SD, Barber LB, Buxton HT (2002) Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999–2000: a national reconnaissance. Environ Sci Technol 36:1202–1211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kulling SE, Metzler M (1997) Induction of micronuclei, DNA strand breaks and HPRT mutations in cultured Chinese hamster V79 cells by the phytoestrogen coumoestrol. Food Chem Toxicol 35:605–613CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Nakagawa Y, Tayama S (2000) Metabolism and cytotoxicity of bisphenol A and other bisphenols in isolated rat hepatocytes. Arch Toxicol 74:99–105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nakajima N, Oshima Y, Serizawa S, Kouda T, Edmonds JS, Shiraishi F, Aono M, Kubo A, Tamaoki M, Saji H, Morita M (2002) Processing of bisphenol A by plant tissues: glucosylation by cultured BY-2 cells and glucosylation/translocation by plants of Nicotiana tabacum. Plant Cell Physiol 43:1036–1042CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Nakajima N, Oshima Y, Edmonds JS, Morita M (2004) Glycosylation of bisphenol A by tobacco BY-2 cells. Phytochemistry 65:1383–1387CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Nitch JP (1967) Encyclopedia de la Pleiade. Le PhytotronsGoogle Scholar
  17. Pfeiffer E, Rosemberg B, Deuschel S, Metzler M (1997) Interference with microtubules and induction of micronuclei in vitro by various bisphenols. Mutat Res 390:21–31PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Pridham JB (1964) The phenol glycosylation reaction in the plant kingdom. Phytochemistry 3:493–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Purdom CE, Hardiman PA, Bye VJ, Eno NC, Tyler CR, Sumpter JP (1994) Estrogenic effects of effluents from sewage sludge treatment works. Chem Ecol 8:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Robbins RS, Bean SR (2004) Development of a quantitative high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection measurement system for phenolic acids. J Chromatogr A 1038:97–105CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Safe S (2000) Bisphenol A and related endocrine disruptors. Toxicol Sci 56:251–252CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmidt B, Schuphan I (2002) Metabolism of the environmental estrogen bisphenol A by plant cell suspension cultures. Chemosphere 49:51–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Senesi N, Loffredo E, Padovano G (1990) Effects of humic acid-herbicide interactions on the growth of Pisum sativum in nutrient solution. Plant Soil 127:41–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shore LS, Kapulnik Y, Ben-Dor B, Fridman Y, Wininger S, Shemesh M (1992) Effects of estrone and 17β-estradiol on vegetative growth of Medicago sativa. Physiol Plantarum 84:217–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Staples CA, Dorn PB, Klecka GM, O’Block ST, Harris LR (1998) A review of the environmental fate, effects, and exposures of bisphenol A. Chemosphere 36:2149–2173CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Suzuki T, Nakagawa Y, Takano I, Yaguchi K, Yasuda K (2004) Environmental fate of bisphenol A and its biological metabolites in river water and their xeno-estrogenic activity. Environ Sci Technol 38:2389–2396CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Takahashi S, Chi XJ, Yamaguchi Y, Suzuki H, Sugaya S, Kita K, Hiroshima K, Yamamori H, Ichinose M, Suzuki N (2001) Mutagenicity of bisphenol A and its suppression by interferon-α in human RSa cells. Mutat Res 490:199–207PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Vaughan D, Malcolm RE (1985) Influence of humic substances on growth and physiological processes. In: Vaughan D, Malcolm RE (eds) Soil organic matter and biological activity. Nijhoff-Junk, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 37–75Google Scholar
  29. Vaughan D, Ord B (1990) Influence of phenolic acids on morphological changes in roots of Pisum sativum. J Sci Food Agric 52:289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Williams RT (1967) The biogenesis of conjugation and detoxification products. In: Bernfeld P (ed) Biogenesis of natural compounds. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 589–639Google Scholar
  31. Yamamoto T, Yasuhara A, Shiraishi H, Nakasugi O (2001) Bisphenol A in hazardous waste landfill leachates. Chemosphere 42:415–418CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Ferrara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elisabetta Loffredo
    • 2
  • Nicola Senesi
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni VegetaliUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biologia e Chimica Agroforestale ed AmbientaleUniversity of BariBariItaly

Personalised recommendations