Irrigating Onions and Potatoes with Chromium and Nickel: Its Effects on Catalase and Peroxidase Activities and the Cross-Contamination of Plants
The scope of this study was to investigate the uptake of chromium and nickel by onions (Allium cepa) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and their impact on plant enzymes catalase (CAT, E.C. 22.214.171.124) and peroxidase (POX, E.C. 126.96.36.199). A greenhouse experiment was conducted, simulating the irrigating conditions existing in the two biggest tuber-producing regions of Greece (Asopos and Messapia). Plants were cultivated for 4 months in six irrigation lines, each one supplied by an aqueous solution, containing levels of Cr(VI) and Ni(II) ranging from 0 μg/L (control) to 1,000 μg/L. Significant statistical correlations were observed between (i) the levels of heavy metals in plants, (ii) the levels of heavy metals in plants and in irrigation water, and (iii) the levels of heavy metals and the enzymatic activities in plants. The existing EU legislation has no legal limits for Ni and Cr in food, and the nutritional implications of this study are discussed.
KeywordsTuber Nutrition Chromium Nickel Catalase Peroxidase
The authors would like to thank (i) Assoc. Prof. K. Lazaridi and Assist. Prof. E. Fragopoulou in Harokopio University, (ii) Assos. Prof. S. Pergantis and Dr. K. Kanaki (University of Crete) for their assistance in the analysis of soils, and (iii) Prof. C.A. Demopoulos (University of Athens) and Prof. N. Malissiovas (TEI of Epirus) for their help during the project.
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