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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 2416–2422 | Cite as

Response of duckweed to various concentrations of selenite

  • Špela Mechora
  • Vekoslava Stibilj
  • Mateja Germ
Wetland Systems: Ecology, Functions and Management

Abstract

The uptake of Se(IV) and its effects on the physiological and biochemical characteristics of duckweed (Lemna minor L.) have been studied. Duckweed plants were cultivated in controlled conditions for 7 weeks in different concentrations of Na selenite: 0.5, 1, 2, 5 (exposed 42 days) and 10 mg Se L−1 (survived 7–21 days). The addition of 1 mg Se L−1 did not negatively affect photochemical efficiency whilst respiratory potential increased in weeks 2–4 compared to control. The addition of 1 mg Se(IV) L−1 increased the amount of chlorophyll a in weeks 3 and 4 and the amount of carotenoids in weeks 1, 3 and 5. Concentrations of 2 and 5 mg Se L−1 negatively affected photochemical efficiency in weeks 3 and 4, and increased respiratory potential in comparison to the control in weeks 1–4, whilst beyond week 4, the respiratory potential decreased. Plants exposed to the highest concentration of Se(IV) had to be replaced twice during the experiment because they were dying. That was reflected in photochemical efficiency as well as in respiratory potential, which decreased in time. The content of Se in duckweed increased with the increasing concentration of Se: plants growing in 0.5 mg Se L−1 contained 0.9 mg Se g−1 DM and plants exposed to 5 mg Se L−1 contained 5.8 mg Se g−1 DM. The group of plants exposed to 10 mg Se L−1 for 21 days contained 19.5 mg Se g−1 DM. Our study revealed that duckweed absorbed high amount of Se(IV) from the water.

Keywords

Duckweed Selenite Photochemical efficiency Respiratory potential HG-AFS 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Terry Troy Jackson for a critical reading of the manuscript. This research was financed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia through the program ‘Young researchers’ (32059), ‘Biology of plants’ (P1-0212) and the projects J4-2041 and program P1-0143.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Špela Mechora
    • 1
    • 3
  • Vekoslava Stibilj
    • 2
  • Mateja Germ
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Faculty of Natural Sciences and MathematicsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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