Growth and physiological response of spinach to various lithium concentrations in soil

  • Hafiz Faiq BakhatEmail author
  • Kunwar Rasul
  • Abu Bakar Umar Farooq
  • Zahida Zia
  • Natasha
  • Shah FahadEmail author
  • Sunaina Abbas
  • Ghulam Mustafa Shah
  • Faiz Rabbani
  • Hafiz Mohkum Hammad
Environmental Toxicology and Risks Associated with Human Health


Lithium (Li) exploitation for industrial and domestic use is resulting in a buildup of the element in various environmental components that results in potential toxicity to living systems. Therefore, a soil culture experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of increasing concentration of Li (0, 20, 40, 60, and 80 mg kg−1 soil) on spinach growth, the effects of Li uptake, and its effects on various physiological attributes of the crop. The results showed that lower levels of Li in soil (20 mg Li kg-1) improve the growth of spinach plants, while a higher concentration of applied Li enhanced the pigment contents. Higher concentrations of Li in soil interfered with potassium and calcium uptake in plants. Moreover, increasing Li concentration resulted in higher activities of antioxidant enzymes activity in spinach shoots. From these results, it is concluded that spinach shoot accumulated higher concentrations of Li without showing any visual toxicity symptoms. Therefore, the study concludes that Li ion was mostly deposited in leaves rather than in roots which may cause potential human health risk on the consumption of Li-contaminated plants. Therefore, the cultivation of leafy vegetables in Li-affected soils should be avoided to reduce the potential human health risks.


Antioxidant enzymes Lithium Physiological attributes Spinach Toxicity 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hafiz Faiq Bakhat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kunwar Rasul
    • 1
  • Abu Bakar Umar Farooq
    • 1
  • Zahida Zia
    • 1
  • Natasha
    • 1
  • Shah Fahad
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Sunaina Abbas
    • 1
  • Ghulam Mustafa Shah
    • 1
  • Faiz Rabbani
    • 1
  • Hafiz Mohkum Hammad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesCOMSATS University IslamabadIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgricultureUniversity of SwabiKhyber PakhtunkhwaPakistan
  3. 3.College of Plant Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agriculture UniversityWuhanChina

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