Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 18, pp 18596–18608 | Cite as

Phytotoxic effects of irrigation water depending on the presence of organic and inorganic pollutants

  • Sonja Gvozdenac
  • Vojislava BursićEmail author
  • Gorica Vuković
  • Simonida Đurić
  • Carlos Gonçalves
  • Dušica Jovičić
  • Snežana Tanasković
Research Article


Irrigation is one of the most important uses of surface waters in the agricultural region of Vojvodina province (Serbia). The aim of the study was to assess the quality of water from Stara Tisa meander, based on the levels of pollution with metals, volatile compounds (VOC), pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and pathogenic bacteria, on sunflower, cabbage, cucumber, maize, barley, buckwheat, sorghum, radish, beans, and white mustard. Microbiological analysis was carried out using the dilution method and phytotoxicity assay according to ISTA filter paper method (germination energy (GE), germination (G), root and shoot length, fresh and dry weight). The sample was slightly contaminated with domestic, industrial, and agricultural xenobiotics and had low levels of nitrogen substances, metals, and organic micropollutants. Pesticides, metolachlor, tebuconazole, propiconazole, imidacloprid, and thiametoxam were detected at levels exceeding the maximum admissible concentrations (MACs), i.e., the sum value for neonicotinoids. The number of saprophytic (2.27 × 106 CFU mL−1) and coliform bacteria (5.33 × 102 CFU mL−1) was very high. The total number of sulphite reducing clostridia (10 cells mL−1) and Escherichia coli (5 cells mL−1) was very low. The GE and G of all tested plants, except sunflower, were not influenced by the total chemism of water sample. However, it inhibited root lengths of sunflower, cucumber, maize, and barley and stimulated shoot lengths of all species except maize and white mustard. These results indicate that it can be used for irrigation of cabbage and radish from the chemical point of view, but the microbiological traits should be considered prior to consumption since they are consumed raw. The overall results suggest that water from Stara Tisa should be purified before using for agricultural purposes.


Phytotoxicity Irrigation water Metals Pesticides Pathogenic bacteria Plants 



This work is a part of project III43005, financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. The authors would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Dušanka Inđić for the support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Gvozdenac
    • 1
  • Vojislava Bursić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gorica Vuković
    • 2
  • Simonida Đurić
    • 1
  • Carlos Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Dušica Jovičić
    • 4
  • Snežana Tanasković
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  2. 2.Institute of Public HealthBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Faculty of AgronomyUniversity of KragujevacČačakSerbia
  4. 4.Insitute for Field and Vegetable CropsNovi SadSerbia

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