Brassica napus Growth in Lead-Polluted Soil: Bioaccumulation in Plant Organs at Different Ontogenetic Stages and Lead Fractionation in Soil

  • Gisele V. Ferreyroa
  • Jonathan Gelma
  • Mariana D. Sosa
  • Marcos A. Orellana Benitez
  • Mabel B. Tudino
  • Raúl S. Lavado
  • Fernando V. MolinaEmail author


Lead is known to be a highly toxic metal; it is often found in soils with the potential to be incorporated by plants. Here, the bioaccumulation of lead by rapeseed (Brassica napus) from a soil with Pb(II) added just before sowing is studied. The effect on plant organs is also studied at the ontogenetic stages of flowering and physiological maturity. Moreover, the chemical fractionation of Pb in the rhizosphere and bulk soil portions is investigated and related to Pb accumulation in plant organs. B. napus are found to accumulate Pb in its organs: 1.5–19.6 mg kg−1 in roots, 3.3–15.6 mg kg−1 in stems, 0.5–8.6 mg kg−1 in leaves in all treatments, and in grains 1.45 mg kg−1 at physiological maturity and only for the highest Pb dose (200 mg kg−1). Plant biomass reduction was observed to be about 20% at the flowering stage and only for the highest Pb dose. The analysis of metal fractionation in soil shows Pb migration from the bulk soil to the rhizosphere, attributed to concentration gradients created by root intake. Along the time period studied, lead chemical fractionation in soil evolved toward the most stable fractions, which coupled to plant uptake depleted the soluble/exchangeable one (assumed bioavailable).


Lead bioaccumulation Flowering Physiological maturity Rhizosphere Plant lead translocation 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina (grant 20020130100035BA), the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET, grant PIP F57269), and the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina (grant PICT 2014-2289). The authors are indebted to Dr. M. A. Trinelli and Dr. N. Verrengia Guerrero for help with the analytical determinations. M. B. T., R. S. L., and F. V. M. are members of the Carrera del Investigador Científico of CONICET.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Química Física de Materiales, Ambiente y Energía (INQUIMAE), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Área de Contaminación y Bioindicadores - IMBIV-CONICET Cátedra de Química General - FCEFyN – UNCCórdobaArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones en Biociencias Agrícolas y Ambientales (INBA), Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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