Toxic effects of coal fly ash on wheat seedlings
We studied heavy metal (HM) stress on wheat seedlings (AK-58) with and without coal fly ash (CFA) exposure. Three CFA spray rates were used to simulate air quality of the second level. Results show airborne particulates can directly enter plant leaves, affecting the whole plant. HM deposition decreases seedling size and mass and reduces activities of the chlorophyll family, photosynthesis enzymes (RuBP and PEPC), and photosynthesis efficiency. In leaves, HM deposition increases with the CFA spray rate. In roots, however, CFA exposure seems to reduce HM deposition, compared with the control without CFA exposure. A possible reason is that HM deposition in leaves from airborne particulates hinders photosynthesis, weakens the whole physiology of the seedlings, and consequently reduces root absorption of HMs from soil. CFA leads to chloroplast expansion, layer-stack disorder of grana, plastoglobule increase, and even chlorophyll membrane damage.
KeywordsCoal fly ash Heavy metal stress Wheat seedling Chloroplast
This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds of the Central Universities (2017XKQY95) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671524).
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